THE BATTLE to be crowned 2017 Courts Inter Club champions will bowl off on Friday (June 2) with the preliminary round of eight matches in two groups throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Winners of the tournament, organised exclusively for winners and runners up in zonal T20 competitions will collect $25,000 in addition to medals, and a challenge trophy.
This year will mark the 15th consecutive year that Courts, and parent company Unicomer Trinidad Ltd are the title sponsors. And to celebrate the event, there has been a welcome increase in prize money.
Runners-up will get $15,000, and medals while the third and fourth placed team will pocket $6,000 and $3,000 respectively.
In addition in the final, carded for June 16, there will be attractive awards at stake for the best batsman, bowler, fieldsman and the traditional “Man-of-the-Match.”
Included in the line-up are two Tobago entrants, C&B Sports Club, and Club Crusoe who will be hoping to turn the tables on their more fancied counterparts.
Chief Executive Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board, Suruj Ragoonath said at the recent launch of the tournament that among the attractions will be the “Mega Six” designed specifically for the biggest hitters in each competing club.
He also announced that each team can sign up a Championship Division player who must be from the zone in which they are competing, and that it is obligatory that an Under-19 cricketer is included also.
In his address, Roger Rambharose, Commercial Director of Unicomer Trinidad Ltd said that the importance of the inter club tournament cannot be underestimated.
He highlighted the progress of Orange Field Sports Club who were winners in 2013 and has been excelling ever since as they dramatically move upwards through the competitive ranks of the TTCB.
Rambaharose said that Courts were so impressed that they adopted the club in 2016, and their support and confidence was rewarded when Orange Field defeated Aranguez Sports Club in the recent final of the Premiership II 50-Overs competition.
“I urge every team to understand the exposure and opportunities this tournament brings,” said Rambharose in highlighting other notable involvement the company has made in cricket development and sponsorship.
He mentioned the Courts NMO T10 competition, which has been staged in Rousillac; the inaugural Courts Women’s T20 Grand Slam, a franchise tournament which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean; the launch of the ground-breaking Courts CrickHQ electronic Scoring System which is linked to the TTCB website; and the upcoming Siparia Regional Corporation T20 Premier League.
Tournament Director Dudnath Ramkissoon, Cricket Operations Officer of the TTCB, a former national captain, who also led the first West Indies Youth Team to England said the inter club tournament will be staged to attract the widest participation in the communities the clubs come from.
He said the planning of the tournament also took into consideration the uncertainty of the weather with the preliminaries slated for June 2, the quarterfinals on June 7, semi-finals in June 9 and the grand final onJune 16.
“Our objective is to see all matches completed to give the cricketers the opportunity to show their talent and also to satisfy the cricket fans from the communities who represent the grassroot support,” said Ramkissoon.
Courts Inter Club Fixtures
Preliminary Round – June 2, 2017
Sweet Revenge Sports Club vs HYO, Brian Lara Ground, Santa Cruz, 6.30 pm
Marchin Patriots vs NMO, Alescon Comets Ground, Charlieville, 6 pm
Woodland Sports Club vs Metro MGM Savannah Boys, Woodland Ground, 6 pm
C&B Sports Club (Tobago) vs Killdeer Sports Club, Canaan, Bon Accord, 7 pm
Dinsley Sports club vs Club Crusoe (Tobago), Eddie Hart Ground, Tacarigua, 6 pm
Progressive Sports Club vs Chickland Sports Club, James Park, Point Fortin, 6 pm
Squadron Sports Club vs All Stars Sports Club, Squadron Ground, Lower Railway Road, Arouca, 6 pm
Nazarite Sports Club vs Swansea, Nazarite Ground, Fairfield Road, Princes Town, 6 pm