'Sportstar', MCA's talent-hunt tournament starts Wednesday

Sportstar Trophy under-19 cricket tournament has seen Sachin Tendulkar, among many others, making a mark as teenager in the late 1980s Getty Images

Mumbai: Oct 18, 2011

The 26th Sportstar Trophy under-19 cricket tournament, which serves as Mumbai Cricket Association’s selection trials for the relevant age level tournaments run by the Cricket Board, would be held here from Wednesday, with four teams participating in it.

Vijay Merchant XI, Khandu Rangnekar XI, Vijay Manjrekar XI and Dattu Phadkar XI would be the four competing teams in the tournament, which saw Sachin Tendulkar, among many others, making his mark as a teenager in the late 1980s.

Shivam Mishra, Sanket Jadhav, Prasad Pawar and Mitesh Rane have been chosen to lead the four teams respectively.

Sarfaraz Khan and Armaan Jaffer, who lit up Mumbai’s inter-school cricket competitions in 2009 and 2010, would make their first appearance in the tournament, to be inaugurated by former Test cricketer Madhav Apte.

Sarfaraz and Jaffer, both 14, came into limelight with record-breaking scores in excess of 400 in the inter-school Harris (u-16) and Giles Shield (u-14) tournaments.

Representing Rizvi Springfield, Sarfaraz scored 439 against Indian Education Society’s secondary school in the 2009 Harris Shield. Last year, Jaffer, representing Rizvi Springfield, scored 498 against Raja Shivaji School in the Giles Shield.

Sarfaraz will play for Rangnekar XI and Jaffer for Phadkar XI.

Six round-robin league matches are to be played at the Vengsarkar Cricket Academy (Oval maidan), Karanatak Sporting (Cross maidan), Fort Vijay (Azad maidan) and Parsee and P J Hindu Gymkhana (Kennedy Seaface) grounds.

MCA’s vice president Prof Ratnakar Shetty complimented the “Hindu” Group of publications for continuing to sponsor the juniors tournament for more than two and a half decades.

“It’s not easy to get sponsors for junior tournaments.

The MCA recognises the contribution made by The Hindu group to develop junior cricket,” said Prof. Ratnakar Shetty, MCA Vice-President and BCCI’s Chief Administrative Officer at the media conference.

MCA’s Joint Secretary Nitin Dalal said that the Sportstar Trophy is a very competitive tournament and provides a chance for the junior cricketers to excel.

The Sportstar would present six man of the match awards (Rs 2,000 gift voucher each), Ramakant Desai Trophy and a Rs 30,000 cricket kit to the player of the tournament.

Other prizes: Nike Man of the match, player of the tournament and special awards; Kiran More, former India stumper: ‘Forma’ helmets to man of the match award winners and the player of the tournament; Hemant Waingankar, former MCA Jt. Secretary: a bat to the player of the tournament and former MCA Jt. Secretary Bal Mahaddalkar’s family: Rs 1,000 to the best fielder of the tournament. (PTI)