SPORT

KCA schools tourney from Nov. 18

Sanju Samson releases the official jersey of the KCA schools tournament.Special Arrangement  

The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has been late in realising the vast potential of school cricket, popular in other States. The KCA started its school cricket tournament only seven years ago and was mostly conducted as a mere ritual.

However, this season KCA has realised the need to promote school cricket in a big way to develop cricket at grassroots level and the eighth edition of the tournament will be conducted in a professional manner.

The KCA has signed up sports management company Eternal Sports to organise the tournament this year in the under-15 and under-13 categories. It has also managed to rope in Paragon as the title sponsor.

The competition for the under-15 category will begin on November 18 and end in the first week of December. The tournament, christened Paragon Stimulus KCA Cup 2017, will be played in the knockout format simultaneously in all the 14 districts of the State.

In a departure from previous years, the KCA has restricted the entries in each district to 16 teams.

The teams were selected on the basis of the performance in the last year’s tournament with only pre-quarterfinalists given entry this year.

The winners of each district will qualify for the all-Kerala tournament. Besides 14 district winners there will be two wild card entries which will be decided by draw of lots from among the 14 district runners-up. The semifinals and finals will be played at the Greenfield stadium, Kariyavattom.

The winners and runners-up will be awarded trophies and sports kits. The under-13 tournament will be held in January 2018.

Sanju Samson, who is the brand ambassador for the tournament, said the tournament was a great platform for young cricketers to showcase their talent.

“It is a great initiative by the KCA and its sponsors to promote school cricket. It is a great opportunity for every budding youngster to be given a stage to perform. More and more tournaments should be held in our State. School cricket is very popular in Delhi and Bengaluru. Some great cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli came up through school cricket. It is a good platform for school cricketers,’’ he said.

Sanju Samson also released the official jersey of the tournament. The trophy for the tournament was also unveiled at the function. KCA joint secretary and chairman of the tournament, Ronclin John, Philip John of Eternal Sports and Sreejith, marketing head of Paragon Stimulus, were present on the occasion.