Young cricketers are being given a chance to showcase their talents in a Twenty20 tournament starting today. Twelve teams from schools throughout the country are taking part in the competition, which is organised by the Sharjah Cricket Council under the auspices of the Emirates Cricket Board, at Al Dhaid Village and the Sharjah cricket stadium.
The Under 16 inter-school event forms an integral part of the council's junior development programme, aimed at creating healthy playing opportunities for budding talent. "The tournament offers an ideal springboard for the players to achieve bigger things, hopefully, a place in the future UAE teams," said Mazhar Khan, of the Sharjah Cricket Council. "When it comes to talent, there is no dearth of it here in the UAE. All we need is to expose them to a good level of competition if we aim unearth quality players. Catch them young is the very intention behind organising this tournament."
There is no entry fee, and the players will be provided with playing shirts by the organisers during the event, which offers the youngsters a chance to hone their competitive edge on turf wickets. The teams have been divided into three groups, each comprising four teams. Two matches will be played every day at each venue before the knock-out stage, when the action shifts to the Sharjah Stadium. The final is scheduled for June 2, starting at 12.30pm.
Trophies will be presented to the winners and the runners-up and there are prizes for the best batsman, best bowler and the player of the tournament. All members of the participating teams will also be given a certificate acknowledging their role in making the tournament a success. * Agency