Four zones The competition will see four zoned teams, Eastern Flames, Western Heats, Northern Lights and Southern Sparks, competing over a four-week period. All matches will be played on Saturdays, beginning June 17. At the end of the series, the best players will be selected for an intense two week academy to be held at Sabina Park. President of the Jamaica Cricket Association, Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven said the importance of the competition to Jamaican cricket could not be overstated. “This tournament will create a critical path for youngsters to play for Jamaica and hopefully the West Indies. Under-19 cricket is the next step to playing Senior Cup cricket and then Jamaica and the West Indies,” Heaven said. The beginning of the West Indies Test series against Pakistan on Friday, was also the start of another important milestone in the development of cricket in Jamaica. The Jamaica Cricket Association announced at a press conference at Sabina Park, that Sandals Resorts International has committed to a three-year sponsorship of an Under-19 cricket competition and academy. Rainforest Seafoods and Wisynco have also committed their support to the initiative. Guest speaker at the launch Sports Minister Olivia Grange, said there is a need for programmes such as this one. “We have seen a steady decline in performances especially at the youth level, but as a national team, we always want to be the winners. We won’t accept anything else but being number one”, she said. Sandals Resorts International’s director, corporate services, Jeremy Jones reiterated the need for corporate support of the sport in Jamaica. “Sandals Resorts believes in youth development through sports and has graduated close to 1,000 young cricketers through our academy in the eastern Caribbean. It is with tremendous pride that we bring this programme to our home in Jamaica.”
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Soon after media reports suggested that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had threatened to cancel the ongoing India vs New Zealand series due to financial problems, Justice RM Lodha today said its direction to stop disbursement of funds to the board would not affect its routine matters.Speaking to India Today, Lodha said the banks have not been directed to stop the money flow for routine matters and there was no question of calling off the series, which still has a Test and five one-day internationals remaining. (WATCH THE VIDEO HERE)”Our directions will not affect BCCI’s day-to-day matters. Banks have not been directed to stop the money flow for routine matters.”No question of calling off the India vs New Zealand series. There has been no direction from our side to cancel the ongoing series,” Lodha told India Today.Not quite happy with the nonchalant attitude displayed by BCCI, the Lodha panel on Monday directed banks, which disburse money to the BCCI, not to release any funds for the decisions taken in the Special General Meeting (SGM) on September 30.According to media reports on Tuesday, the BCCI, miffed with the Lodha panel’s direction, was planning call off the ongoing series.Lodha also said board officials were welcome to contact his panel and he would be happy to clear any doubts.”If there’s any confusion, BCCI must contact the panel. Will give a written clarification to the banks if needed,” he added.’RELEASE FUNDS FOR ROUTINE EXPENSES’ advertisementMeanwhile, the Lodha committee has asked the banks to release funds to BCCI for routine expenses.Gopal Sankaranarayanan, secretary of the Lodha committee, told India Today that the panel has directed the banks to release money to BCCI for routine expenses. He also said that the India vs New Zealand series must go on and reiterated that there was no bar on series payments. Earlier, the BCCI in its SGM, released payments to its member associations, against the directions of the Lodha panel. However, the Lodha panel has termed it “illegal”.The letter addressed to BCCI Secretary Ajay Shirke, Treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry, CEO Rahul Johri and Rana Kapoor of Yes Bank, also talked about how the BCCI has openly breached the Supreme Court’s order.It further stated that any violation of this direction will be brought to the notice of the Supreme Court.The email was also marked to the Bank of Maharashtra and Yes Bank – the two banks that operate BCCI’s accounts. Meanwhile, India Today has learnt that Lodha panel has questioned BCCI’s disbursement of Rs 560 crore to state associations and prohibited them from using the money.India sealed the three-match series and reclaimed the top spot in the ICC Test rankings yesterday with a 178-run victory in Kolkata. The third Test is scheduled to start in Indore on Saturday, with a five-match ODI series to follow.ON LODHA DIRECTIVESIn timelines we had instructed BCCI to frame disbursement policy by September 30, we learnt it was not done and in their emergent meeting on September 30 they decided to disburse large funds to state associations which necessitated issuing directive to BCCI not to disburse funds to state associations a copy of which was sent to two banks as well.There was absolutely no direction to freeze the bank accounts or that routine day-to-day expenditure that BCCI is required to do for administration or matches that there should be be any impediments or constraints. I Think the email has been misconstrued by both the BCCI and by the banks. They were no occasion to freeze the bank accounts.’BCCI TRYING TO ARM TWIST’I will not like to say what the strategy is but so far as far as the committee is concerned the game must go on. The BCCI is free to deal with its accounts, there is no obstruction for game or for their day-to-day routine affair. If there is any think in this regard by BCCI is unfair.Email is confined to that. For games, domestic, international, there are no impediments or prohibition.ON CONFUSION OVER DIRECTIVESIn the morning when we came to know that two BCCI accounts were frozen, we immediately sent e-mails to the banks to de freeze the accounts. So the BCCI can operate their accounts except the large funds that are to be disbursed to the state associations.ON POSSIBILITY OF RESOLVING ISSUESWe are not adversary to the BCCI. We have been given a task by the Supreme Court. Once we submitted our report which were only recommendations on January 4. Thereafter the court heard the BCCI who had full opportunity to challenge each and every recommendation which may not have been implementable for them. Once any recommendation gets a seal of approval from the Supreme Court, any change is to be done before the Supreme Court and not before the committee.advertisementON DOUBTS ABOUT CHAMPIONS TROPHY PARTICIPATIONThere is some confusion in the reading. So far the cricket calendar which is settled for 2017 which also relates to Champions Trophy. The idea is not to stall the cricket matches which are international in nature. The idea is to provide longevity to talented national players, so that they can play for a long season. So many players are not fit to play international matches after IPL. Champions Trophy remains unaffected because the schedule was prepared before we submitted our report and accepted by the Supreme Court.I won’t comment on judicial matters. The Supreme Court in its July 18 judgement has accepted most of our recommendations. And now they are part of the Supreme Court order and is binding on all.