LONG-STANDING cricket sponsor, Scotiabank, has invested $300,000 into its NextGen Cricket Programme’s Under-15 and Under-13 Zonal Tournaments.
Having maintained its exclusive sponsorship of Kiddy Cricket, over the past two decades, Scotiabank has extended its support further up the developmental age bracket to provide an additional platform to identify and cultivate natural cricketing talents.
This year’s Under-15 competition bowls off on January 22 at four locations throughout TT and gets off to a heated start with a repeat of last year’s final between defending champions Central, and runners-up South East, at the National Cricket Centre (NCC), Couva. The Under-13s begin their campaign in May.
At the event launch, on Wednesday, president of the TT Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath, expressed high optimism that the renewed connection with Scotiabank will continue sustaining well-structured initiatives, specifically designed to help TT’s young cricketers.
Bassarath believes this timely investment plays a significant role in securing the future of the sport locally, regionally and internationally.
“I am confident that we can see the West Indies reclaim its ascendancy in the near future and our NextGen cricketers are crucial to that vision,” he said. “This tournament will evolve into a standard bearer for youth development cricket…the ultimate goal is to not just nurture successful cricketers but to produce positive role models, leaders and citizens, who contribute to the development of the nation.”
Scotiabank’s vice-president of Retail Banking and Small Business Savon Persad, shared similar sentiments and is certain both tournaments will help these youngsters further refine their skills and expertise in their continuous pursuit of cricket development.
“We recognise the long-term social and economic prosperity in our communities depends on a well-rounded future generation. With the right support, children can unlock their full potential creating an enabling environment for success. And when young people in the community succeed, families, businesses and society as a whole benefit for years to come,” he stated.
Rajendra Mangalie, TTCB’s marketing and sponsorship committee chairman, was pleased with the intervention of Scotiabank for embracing their proposal. Mangalie admitted his committee had been working assiduously aiding the local cricket fraternity deliver on its mandate to promote growth and development of the sport.
“I urge everyone to get on board and support our young cricketers as they develop into future stars. Many of our top players who have gone on to represent the region and build successful careers in cricket have all benefited from the age group set-up. It has proven to be an invaluable system where youngsters can move upwards through the ranks, as they progress,” said Mangalie.
Additionally, former 2019 national and West Indies (WI) Under-15 captain and Kiddy Cricket product, Andrew Rambaran, credited initiatives such as these as instrumental in generating future talents of the gentleman’s game.
“Youth programmes such as these, help pave the way to become a future national and WI player. To the cricketers participating in the NextGen Zonal Under-15 Tournament, make the best of your opportunities made available to you,” concluded the now Under-17 national representative.
Also present at the tournament launch was TTCB operations manager, Dudnath Ramkessoon and other members of the executive; Scotiabank’s manager of public and corporate affairs, Cindy Mohammed; youth coaches Kelvin and David Williams, several Red Force, Under-15 and Under-13 players and their parents.
Scotiabank NextGen U-15 Zonal Teams
Group A – East, North East, Tobago, North
Group B – Central, South East, South West, South
Round 1 Matches (January 22)
Tobago vs North East – Shaw Park, Tobago
East vs North – Buggy Haynes Grounds, Tacarigua
South East vs Central – National Cricket Centre, Couva
South vs South West – PowerGen, Penal