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GAIA tourney starts tomorrow

Organizers of Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) T20 Cricket Tournament intend to make the event into a premier national community tape ball competition on the island.

So said communications specialist for GAIA Keith Goddard during a Press conference held at the airport yesterday to launch the tournament which is now in its third year. Goddard said the interest in the competition had grown and that could be attributed to the high standards they set.

“Over the last two years the interest continues to grow and I think that is because we have set a standard and the goal and vision for this tournament is for the GAIA T20 tournament to become the premier national community tape ball tournament on the island. We are working towards next year to not only have T-shirts that the teams would be wearing but we will work to make sure we have uniforms how they have in CPL. We started it this year but we ran short but next year we are working to make sure we raise that money to make sure that everybody can be in uniforms as they do for other international tournaments. That is one of the visions and if Grantley Adams is going to do it we are going to do it well,” Goddard said.

Fifteen teams will participate in the tournament this year and will be divided into three zones. A few incentives have been incorporated into the competition this year and among these will be the chairman’s prize which will go towards the captain who manages his team well and not just in terms of runs and wickets but also in terms of discipline on the field. There will also be a player of the match incentive.

The communications specialist said last year the tournament contributed to the HIV fight and this year they will raise funds for the Diabetes Association of Barbados.

The prize money for this year tournament remains the same at $2,000, second place will be $1,000 and the third place finisher receives $750.

Divi Southwinds, one of the main sponsors, will provide staycation packages for all of the Man-Of-The-Match prize winners in the quarterfinal stages. General manager Alvin Jemmott said the staycation packages were worth close to $5,000.

“We are in for the long haul. Next year when you have been outfitted like in the CPL we will be there with you. It is important for us to make the staycation contribution. So many times people are closely in conjunction with tourism but don’t get to enjoy the tourism product. The provision of the staycation packages allows just that – members working in tourism to enjoy their own tourism product,” Jemmott said.

The tournament will commence tomorrow at the Rices, St Philip playing field. It climaxes on November 29.

Fire Service, Customs, GAIA Inc, CAH PSA, and Fast Rangers will play in zone one while in zone two defending champions for two consecutive years CAH Ramp, DHL, Unity, Gem Stars and Drive-A-Matic and group three will have Stoutes Car Rentals, Harlington, Four Roads, Courtesy and Flight Kitchen.

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