Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Eight High schools are down to contest the inaugural School's Invitational T20 Championships set for January 3-5, 2014 at Chedwin Park in St Catherine.
The schools will compete for a first prize of $100, 000 in cricket equipment, plus the championship trophy. The losing finalist will get $50,000 worth of equipment, while third place wins $30,000 worth of equipment and fourth place $20,000.
Manchester High, Vere Technical, Wolmer's Boys', St Jago, St Elizabeth Technical High School, Kingston College, Eltham and Jamaica College are the invited schools," said Paul Campbell, of the Sports Innovators Group (SIG), promoters of the competition.
Wolmer's is the only school yet to confirm their participation, but they are expected to confirm soon.
Over time, Campbell said, SIG intends to involve more schools from across the island, as well as schools from the Caribbean and the United States in what is intended to be an annual event.
Sponsors have already been secured for the tournament. Campbell said, with T20 cricket being the major driving force behind the growth of the sport globally, the earlier high school players can be introduced to it, the better.
"We all agree that the T20 version of the game is the version that is being used to market the sport. It is important that we have our young players exposed to this format as quickly as possible," he said.
"T20 cricket is a fast-paced game that requires quickness of thought, agility, and the ability to manage pressure over a short period of time. These qualities will help in the development of the players in this form of the game, and by extension, their lives. So exposure will help the players, the sport, and their respective schools."
The eight teams will play in a straight knockout format; quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, with matches beginning at 10 a.m. each day.
Once confirmed, the proposed schedule should see STETHS playing Wolmer's in match one, while Manchester will go up against Jamaica College in match number two. St Jago tackle Vere in match three, and Kingston College take on Eltham in match four. The semi-finals are set for January 4, with the winner of the first match playing the winner of the second. The winner of match three will play the winner of match four.
The play-off for third and the final are to be played on January 5.