The Guyana Floodlights Softball Cricket Association (GFSCA) yesterday launched the Inaugural Guyana Cup Masters and Open Twenty20 Cup, at the boardroom of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Main and Quamina Streets.
Master of Ceremony, Alfred King, introduced the head table which included Vice President of the GFSCA, Ricky Deonarain, Digicel’s head of Sales and Distribution, Nalini Vieira, Walter Gainda of Bel Air Texaco,
Lakeram Singh, Rowling Khan of the International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA) and Steve Narine of Steve’s Jewellry.
Deonarine said that more than $4.3M dollars have been invested adding that the executives of the GFSCA were hoping for an exciting tournament when the action bowls off in the three-day competition.
The competition will run from October 28-30 at three venues namely: the Carifesta Sports Complex Ground, the Everest Sports Club ground and the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC), Bourda.
This is the inaugural championships and will witness the participation of 10 international teams.
Five of the teams are from New York, USA,three from Florida, USA and an additional two from Canada. These teams will compete against six local teams.
Four of the local teams will compete in the Guyana Cup including Memorex from Berbice, Cotton Tree from Essequibo, Trophy Stall from the East Coast Demerara and Regal out of Georgetown. The other two teams, Regal Stationery and Savage Masters will compete in the Over-40 category.
Deonarain explained that Guyanese have been traveling to North America since 1999 to show off their talents in similar soft-ball tournaments and said it has been long overdue for such a tournament to come to these shores.
Minister Anthony and Permanent Secretary King the two government officials present, lauded the initiative and wished the organizers well.
Anthony said:“Initiatives such as these surely boost the tourism drive and as such my Ministry is supportive and wish to encourage the support of all Guyanese.”
Softball is very popular especially in rural Guyana and in many ways Guyana is sort of pioneer in soft-ball cricket worldwide, so it’s heartening to hear that in North America that it is Guyanese that is taking this game to the next level”.
As a token, the Minister promised to donate the use of the Ministry’s buses to aid the teams for transportation.
The aformentioned corporate entities that are supporting the competition in various ways, all gave their resounding backing and said how pleased they were to be associated with the GFSCA.
Steve Narine of Steve’s Jewellry donated two gold bracelets for the Player of the Series in each category, while support will be had from the International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA) in the form of bottled water throughout the tournament for the players and umpires. Digicel’s Vieira endorsed her company’s support for the event, while urging the public to come out in its numbers to view the matches.
Most of the matches will commence during the evening and will conclude under floodlights. On the day of the final, fans will be treated to several exhibition encounters among the female teams also.
The winners of the Guyana Cup Open tournament will receive $800,000 while the victorious team in the Masters Cup tournament carts off $400,000.