St Mary Big Bash cricket launched

Sandals Resorts title sponsors

Monday, January 14, 2019

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The 2019 staging of the St Mary Cricket Association/ Maurice Clarke Big Bash T20 tournament, which bowls off next Sunday, will have Sandals Resorts International on board as the title sponsors.

This was announced last Thursday at the press launch for the event at Beaches Ocho Rios by general manager of the resort, Brian Roper.

The competition, named after parish stalwart Maurice Clarke, has attracted a very strong 12-team field and will have as associate sponsors Costly Construction, Parkway Pharmacy, Braham service stations, White Hall Estates, and Wisynco.

In addressing the gathering, Roper gave notice of Sandals' long-term commitment to cricket and sports in the parish, but urged the association to exercise good governance and the teams to show discipline and punctuality.

The general manager pointed to Sandals' sponsorship of all levels of cricket in the West Indies and their unwavering pledge to nation-building.

President of the St Mary Cricket Association Ian Spencer lauded all the sponsors who had come forward to make the new competition a reality, and promised that his team would try to make it a special event for the spectators and lovers of cricket in the parish.

The teams taking part are Boscobel, Mango Valley, Days Mountain, Port Maria, Top Pen, Jacks River, Three Hills, Gayle, Highgate, Bonnie Gate, Oxford and Geddes Town. They will be divided into three zones, with the top two from each zone automatically advancing along with the two best third-placed teams.

Spencer noted that this year's event will feature electronic scoring, which will be uploaded so that fans can check scoreboards and statistics during the course of the competition. “We want to develop our cricket in this parish to the highest level, and this will be a first for a parish association in the country,” Spencer added. “We also have our Instagram and Facebook pages where the public will get live updates throughout the course of matches.”

A special feature of the tournament will be a Player of the Round award to the top player at the end of each week's competition. Matches will be played on Sundays at Boscobel Oval, Days Mountain, and Three Hills Grounds.

President of the Jamaica Cricket Association Billy Heaven, who was guest speaker at the launch, lauded the St Mary Cricket Association for its approach to the administration of cricket in the parish as well as its emphasis on youth.

Heaven outlined a three-year development plan for cricket in Jamaica as well as pointed to a number of successes by his administration over the past few years — including strong financial management, lights at Sabina Park, and a successful youth programme. He also pointed to the large number of Jamaicans plying their trade in the leagues in the West Indies and around the world.

Also bringing greetings was cricket enthusiast and Mayor of Port Maria Richard Creary, who wished the teams good luck and promised the support of his municipality in the development of the sport in the parish.

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