By ZAID MOHAMMED
ONE of the most popular cricket competitions in Trinidad and Tobago which attracts scores of former competitive players and serious enthusiasts of the red ball game will bowl off next month.
This year, however, the organization of the tournament will be a collaborative effort between its founder Lambert Lee Ahyen, and the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board.
It will be called the TTCB Bert’s Islandwide Over-40/Over-50 20-Overs Tournament.
Ahyen started the competition seven years ago and quickly attracted teams from all over Trinidad and Tobago and soon became a permanent fixture on the local cricket calendar.
Former top, and not so accomplished club cricketers relished the opportunity to rekindle their competitive spirit and renew rivalries of yesteryear while bidding for attractive cash prizes, trophies, medals and bragging rights.
On the initiative of Ahyen, the owner of Bert’s Sports Centre in Chaguanas, discussions were recently held with the president of the TTCB, Azim Bassarath, who received the approval of his board to keep the competition going under its auspices.
An organizing committee was recently appointed comprising chairman Rafi Mohammed, Balraj Ragoo (secretary), Steve Nandlal and Lee Ahyen who will meet with interested clubs on Sunday (July 21) from 9 am at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva.
Winners of the Over-40 category last year was the East Masters team, while Longdenville Touring Team took the honours among the Over-50s.
Mohammed said that the Over-50 Diamond competition will get underway on Saturday, August 10 with action in two groups of a maximum of 10 teams each.
The Over-40s will be divided into two divisions, Championship and Premiership, and will get going on Sunday, August 18, in four groups with a maximum of eight teams each.
He said registration forms can be collected and returned to T&TCB Office at Balmain, Couva or Bert’s Sports Centre, Chaguanas on or before July 31.
Winners of the Over-40 Premier Division will receive $10,000. while the runners-up get $5,000. and the losing semi-finalists $2,000. each.
The Over-40 champions of the Championship Division collect $5,000. and the second-placed team will pocket $2,500. while the losing semi-finalists take home $2,000 each.
In the Over-50 Diamond competition, the top team will be awarded $7,000. and the runners-up get $3,000. The losing semi-finalists earn $2,000. each.
Mohammed said the official media launch of the TTCB Bert’s Islandwide Over-40/Over-50 20-Overs Tournament is carded for Tuesday, July 23 at 11 am. The venue is the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva.