In a bid to catch them young, a cricket website has initiated a national-level tournament for schoolchildren. Dubbed the National School League, it will initially involve teams from 80 schools from four cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore — playing a league-cum-knockout T20 tournament.
To be contested in two age groups (under-14 and -18), it will comprise of a city-based group stage, followed by the knockouts on a national level, and is the first initiative of the newly-launched cricLAN.com, a website that aims at connecting cricket enthusiasts.
“This portal is to give non-professional cricketers a platform,” said founder Dhruv Verma, who first created a similar start-up for golfers.
The registration fees is Rs. 499 per team; schools will have to fork out additional amounts for kits, gear and access to facilities — upto Rs. 2.5 lakh for a squad of 15, if it reaches the national final.
“In Delhi, for example, we're looking to host matches in Harbaksh stadium, Jamia grounds and Noida stadium,” explained Verma.
While T20 is for starters, the main focus is the two-day game. And while it does not as yet have the blessings of the School Games Federation of India, Verma said official recognition is something they aspire to.
Smriti makes cut
Agadir (Morocco): Smriti Mehra shot an a creditable even par 71 to make the cut in tied 25th place after two rounds at the Lalla Meryem Cup golf tournament here. Smriti, winner of three events back on her home tour, is one-over 143 for two rounds.
However, things were not so pleasant for fellow Indian Sharmila Nicollet, who missed the cut with a round of 71 after the first round of 78.
A seasoned golfer, Smriti had pulled out midway through Hero Women's Pro Tour earlier in the month, while leading, because of being charged with indiscipline.
She also lost her place at the top of the Indian Order of Merit because of that, and dropped to second. Smriti had an aggressive round with four birdies and four bogeys in her 71, but will need another good round to move up.
New Delhi: Vikas Hathwala's unbeaten 108 helped Telefunken Club beat TEDCO by 152 runs in DDCA league. In other games, Khalid Ahmed's 5/29 powered Air Force, Abhishek Sharma's 6/28 helped Subhania to wins. CWC and Ved Solanki too won.