Union cricketers target Jaat Blasters scalp GP Gymkhana Shield opener

06Jul 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Union cricketers target Jaat Blasters scalp GP Gymkhana Shield opener

UNION cricketers will be eager to start to their campaign in this year's GP Gymkhana Shield tournament in grand fashion, when they lock horns with Jaat Blasters in the event's opening match that will take place at the Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club (DGC) oval today.

Kishen Kamania, one of players who will compete in this year's GP Gymkhana Shield competition, poses with the trophy,which will be handed over to the tournament's winners, during the launch in Dar es Salaam recently. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NIKHIL PUJARA

The DGC Cricket Section Captain, Ashish Nagewadia, noted the T20 formatted event, which has brought together over 400 participants, will run for 14 weeks with the oval hosting all of the competition's matches.

Union, who laid their hands on the title in the 2016 edition of the tournament, did not have a good outing in the 2018 event and they will this time around be out to play their hearts out and replicate their exploits in the 2016 competition.

Anadil Burhani will play Punjabi Kings in one of two encounters, penned for Sunday. In the day's other match, Kanbis, who reached the last four stage of the last year's competition, will lock horns with new entrants Young Muslims shortly thereafter.

Nagewadia noted all six teams led by experienced captains and star players will be looking forward to winning their opening games to set the tone for the rest of the tournament.

This year's GP Gymkhana Shield has General Petroleum (GP) and Premier Refinishes as main sponsors, and co-sponsors MGEN Tanzania, Sayona Drinks, SBC Tanzania, ASAR Limited, JayKey Trading, I&M Bank and AFRO Turk.

Nagewadia and Abhik Patwa, the section's Vice Captain, added the duo, together with the competition's organizing committee, are extremely confident that this season's edition will be a huge success.

“It will see more entertaining games as all of the squads are well balanced and the experience of key players will play a key part in their success,” the duo disclosed.

Nagewadia had disclosed at the competition's launch last weekend the tournament would have been played in February, this year, but it was cancelled due various issues against DGC.

“It was ultimately approved due to the support of the club management and Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Harrison Mwakyembe," he added.

"I would like to thank them for looking at the wider picture of cricket development rather than trivial issues that always harm the development of the cricket."

"Due to the misunderstanding, we lost two lead sponsors, who had offered significant amount of cash to host this tournament."

The sponsors' decision to opt out, as disclosed by him, came about because of the uncertainty and negative publicity the situation was attracting.

"It has not been a smooth ride for this season's edition but, in the end, we made it," he noted.

"This competition would not have taken place if we had not received the support from General Petroleum."

"When all doors for support were closed, I called General Petroleum official, Zafar Khan, to once again support us and within a short time he approved his company's readiness to serve as lead sponsors."

"Premier Refinishes followed suit, turning into the tournament's other main sponsors... without General Petroleum and Premier Refinishes we would have hosted this tournament," he noted.

"We, as well, would not have managed to import full uniforms that we will present to the participating outfits."

"I use this opportunity to wholeheartedly appreciate the support that has come at such a short notice."

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