Cricket at grassroots

By: | Published: November 15, 2015 12:04 AM

Rajasthan’s Saath:7 Cricket Mahotsav, a grassroots-level cricket tournament, is expected to attract 39,840 cricket enthusiasts

RAJASTHAN-BASED company Wonder Cement recently launched a grassroots-level cricket tournament, Saath:7 Cricket Mahotsav, in Jaipur. The announcement was made in the presence of former India cricket team captain and World Cup-winner Kapil Dev, who also unveiled the winner’s trophy for the tournament.

Essentially a sports-based citizen engagement initiative, the Saath:7 Cricket Mahotsav is expected to attract participation of around 39,840 cricket enthusiasts from over 249 tehsils across Rajasthan. The tournament will be played in a seven-over format, with seven players in each team. The tournament expects to cover every zone, district, tehsil and village of Rajasthan. “We will use cricket as a medium to tell the company’s brand story… Rajasthan is the first market where we are organising the initiative. Depending on the popularity and success, it might be carried out in our other  markets, too, in the next three-four months,” says Tarun Chauhan, management adviser, Wonder Cement.

Having seen cricket’s transition from the Test and 50-over formats to the popular and fast-paced 20-20 format, Kapil Dev says the Saath:7 Cricket Mahotsav is an interesting initiative and will not only groom young, budding talent, but also give the people of the state a chance to come out and play the sport. “The format does not matter. At the end of the day, cricket is important… Every state, every region should have one such tournament… the fact that the initiative is recognised by the state cricket board or authority doesn’t matter. The important bit is that such an initiative has been organised,” says Dev, who cited the late Nelson Mandela when talking about the power of sports and how it brings peace and invokes a sense of togetherness.

The tournament’s winners and runners-up will be awarded prize money of Rs 3.5 lakh and Rs 1.4 lakh, respectively.

The total prize money will be to the tune of Rs 30 lakh.

Starting on December 19 this year, the tournament will run for four weeks, with a total of 3,984 teams expected to compete. To encourage the participation of women, seven runs shall be awarded to a team if a girl is part of its playing seven. To make it more encouraging, the top three performing players of the tournament will also receive training for a year at Wonder Cricket Academy in Udaipur.

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