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On May 17th, 2017, The Hand-in-Hand Mutual Fire & Life Insurance Companies once again partnered with the Guyana Cricket Board in their second contractual year sponsorship towards the U-19 Inter County Tournament.

The tournament will be launched on May 29th, 2017 with defending Champions Demerara facing off with the select U-17s at Lusignan and Berbice playing Essequibo at Everest Cricket Ground.  The second round will be played on May 31st, while the final preliminary round is set for June 1st with the two top teams advancing to the Final at Providence on June 2nd. The one-day format will be played with Red balls and white clothes.

The three-day tournament is scheduled to be played with three rounds from June 6-16. Matches will be played at Providence, Lusignan, Eve Leary and Everest, but it was disclosed that due to the unstable weather pattern venues can be changed.

At the presentation, Director/Fire Manager, Mr. Howard Cox noted that the Company is pleased with last year’s tournament under the directorship of the Guyana Cricket Board and is very proud to see Shemron Hetmeyer, who played for the tournament last year, being selected to play test cricket for the West Indies team. Mr Cox said “The GCB has many detractors but Guyana has won (almost) everything which shows that the Cricket Board is doing something right. I hope we can pass that on to the West Indies team”.

Secretary of the GCB, Anand Sanasie thanked Hand-in-Hand for their commitment for the past two years and said that he hopes they become a long term sponsor. “Hand-in-Hand is standing the cost of almost everything but despite the extra cost we have set matches for the Stadium. We hope the adverse weather improves since we want to have as much cricket being played as possible,” Sanasie informed.

Young cricketers, Bhaskar Yadram and Joshua Persaud have been selected for the West Indies U-19 tour to South Africa and Zimbabwe. Sanasie reminded that the two are products of the Hand-in-Hand tournament. Yadram and Persaud have been named Captain and Vice-Captain respectively of the Demerara team and will leave for Africa on June 25th after participating in the Inter-County tournament.

“The Academy players are all paid monthly salaries and provide players for the First-Class team. Bhaskar is the latest player from the U-19 ranks to play First-Class cricket this year and the results of that team’s success says a lot for the GCB,” said Sanasie.

Sanasie said that this tournament plays an important role in preparing the players for a successful defence of their 50-over title which they have won for the past three years and to regain their three-day title. Guyana won an unprecedented six titles from 1992-1997.

The Hand-in-Hand competition will be used to select the Guyana U-19 team for the 2017 Regional U-19 50-over and three-day tournament in July and August as Guyana return to St. Kitts where they won the last of their 11 three-day titles in 2007, when Steven Jacobs led them to glory and where Guyana lost the 2007 one-day final to Jamaica at Warner Park. Guyana has three 50-over titles.