Over 20 local and overseas teams will begin the battle for supremacy on Friday when the Guyana Softball Cup III bowls off at VARIOUS venues in Georgetown.
Organised by the Guyana Floodlight Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA), the third annual tournament has attracted participation from teams Florida, New York, Canada and Guyana.
Chief coordinator and Vice-president of the GFSCA, Ricky Deonarian, said all the necessary logistics have are falling into place, and the organisers are confident of a successful tournament.
“As we speak everything is in place; most of the overseas teams are already here while the others, including the defending champion of the Open category, New York Cricket League All Stars, are expected in tomorrow [today],” Deonarain told this publication.
This year’s tournament is expected to attract large crowds, as it did in 2011 and 2012
Deonarain said his team of organisers has been working assiduously to get the grounds in condition for the three-day event, while placing extra effort in ensuring proper arrangements are in place for the large influx of visiting teams and their band of supporters.
According to Deonarain, the teams will be hosted at the official opening ceremony from 17:30 hours this afternoon at the main pavillion of the world famous Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) ground, Bourda. Sport Minister Dr Frank Anthony is slated to deliver feature remarks at the event.
The chief coordinator also informed that the teams are required to assemble at the GCC ground on Friday morning at 08:00 hours for a photo shoot. The teams are expected to be fully uniformed.
Preliminary action in the competition will take place on Friday and Saturday with the grand finals of the two categories- the Open 20/20 and the Masters 20/20- set for Sunday at the GCC ground, Bourda.
During the two days of preliminary action, which will comprise 36 games, the venues will be the GCC, Police, Sport Ministry, Demerara Cricket Club, YMCA and Education Ministry grounds.
In the Open 20/20 competition, which was won last year by New York Softball Cricket League All Stars, the teams will battle for a first prize of $800,000 and a massive trophy, with the runner-up team carting off $200,000 and a trophy.
The Man-of-the-Match in the final will be the recipient of a trophy, while the player of the tournament will receive a gold bracelet, compliments of Steve’s Jewellery.
In the Masters 20/20 segment, of which Savage XI of Guyana are the defending champions, the participating teams will vie for the coveted prize of $600,000 and a trophy, with the losing finalist having to settle for $150,000 and a trophy. Like the Open category, the Man-of-the-Match in the championship game and the player of the tournament will receive a trophy and a gold bracelet respectively.
On Sunday, prior to the two category finals, there will be three female exhibition games, featuring four of the leading teams on the distaff side- Trophy Stall Angels, 4R Lioness, Karibee Girls and Mike’s Wellwoman.
Two semi-finals will be followed by a grand final, with the winner pocketing $50,000 and the loser $25,000. The MVP will collect $5,000 and a trophy.
While admission to the venue for the first two days is free, a fee of $500 will be charged per patron on the final day, with the first ball set to be bowled at 10:00 hours.
For the Open 20/20 competition, the 12 teams have been placed into three zones. Zone A comprises South Florida Softball Cricket League, Regal XI, Wolf’s Warriors and Smith’s XI; Zone B consists of defending champions New York Softball Cricket League All Stars, 2011 winners Cotton Field Wild Oats, Corriverton and Farm XI; while Zone C is made up of Ontario Softball Cricket League, Berbice Titans, Karibee Boys and Trophy Stall.
The 14 teams in the Masters 20/20 segment have been divided into four zones. New York Better Hope, Brooklyn Legends, reigning champions Savage XI and Floodlight make up Zone A; Zone B comprises SCI Miami, New York President’s XI, 2011 champions Regal Masters and Industry Super Kings; Zone C will see rivalry amongst New York Seaview, Ontario Masters Softball International and Wellman XI; while New York Softball Cricket League Legends, Parika Defenders and Superior Woods Success Masters have been placed in Zone D.
The event has attracted corporate support from Top Brandz Distributors, the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company, Trophy Stall, Survival Supermarket, Mike’s Pharmacy, Nauth’s Motor Spares, Rohan Auto Spares, Clear Waters, Steve’s Jewellery, Guyana Beverage Company, Rubis (Bel Air), Metro Office and Computer Supplies and Motor Trend.