Republic Bank, GCB launch historic U-23 Inter-club competition

HERE to view photos of the launch 

Delivering the opening remarks, GCB Secretary Ronald Williams said this new concept will target specifically players who have finished their careers at the Under-19 levels, but may need to further hone their skills while needing a feeder-like system to enable that final spark which leads to senior or West Indies cricket selection.

Commercial Manager of Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited, Harry Dass Ghaness (centre) with some national Under-19 players who will be part of the tournament

The GCB Secretary added that the 44 clubs from across the three counties (Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice) will now play a huge role with this new format expected to host many national cricketers who are on the cusp of commencing their careers as seniors.

GCB Cricket Operations Manager (ag) Anthony D’Andrade, who gave more logistical insight into the structure of the tournament, said that the GCB found it necessary to introduce this Under-23 initiative as it will play a key role in transitioning the youth players to a more senior role in cricket.

The Cricket Operations Manager detailed the GCB’s recent cricketing events which featured the Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited ‘Five for Fun’ School Cricket, which targeted age groups 7-10, the GCB Under-13 Inter-county and the recently concluded Under-13 Bilateral Series held in Trinidad and Tobago between Guyana and the hosts.

D’Andrade noted that players who may not be successful at Under-19 level could play Under-23 cricket to keep their careers going with another shot at making the senior team.

GCB Cricket Operations Manager (ag) Anthony D’Andrade

Commercial Manager, Republic Bank (Guyana) Limited, Harry Dass Ghaness, during his brief remarks, outlined the bank’s pleasure in supporting the GCB for yet another venture, adding that the two entities have been sharing close working relationship for decades, citing one main factor as having a major impact on lives and youth cricket development.

With Republic Bank being the premier sponsor of this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Ghaness stated that cricket is part of the Bank’s Social Investment Programme- The Power to Make a Difference as it creates an environment for kids and sports alike while creating a huge positive impact for all beneficiaries.

He said cricket especially, allows youths to find at an early age the tenacity, strength and confidence needed to thrive in both a social and economic structure while building an overall competitive environment.

GCB Secretary Ronald Williams

Meanwhile, GCB executive Rabindranauth Saywack lauded the Bank for playing a huge role in cricket growth, filling a void which has been there since he was a player.

The 50-over competition, which will take the knockout format, will see a total of 44 teams- 21 from Demerara, 16 from Berbice and seven from Essequibo- battling for supremacy.

The winner of each county will compete in a national playoff.

The county finals are slated for September 1, with the countrywide grand final two days later. (Modified Press Release from the GCB)