Thiruvananthapuram: Former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy will inaugurate the first P Sreekumar Memorial All-Kerala Girls Under-16 Cricket Championship for Vasthu Niketha Cup at the KCA-St. Xaviers Ground on Wednesday.
The league-cum-knockout annual tournament will be held from July 25-29 under the official supervision of Kerala Cricket Association.
The first inter-district tournament for girls in Kerala is organised in association with Trivandrum District Cricket Association to both support women’s cricket and to empower girls, said its organisers, Arc Festivals.
The tournament is being held as a memorial to the late P Sreekumar, who was one of the most respected coaches in Thiruvananthapuram. A longtime coach and selector of Kerala State teams under various age categories, Sreekumar was the first coach to train girls in the district. “We thought it is fitting to name the first girls’ tournament in Kerala after P Sreekumar,” said Vinod S Kumar, secretary, Trivandrum District Cricket Association.
“Kerala girls have done well recently in national-level competitions, and we want to continue supporting girls and encourage more of them to take up the game,” said Kumar, Secretary, Trivandrum District Cricket Association. “Girls in this age category get to play very few matches, so we decided to wholeheartedly support the initiative by the organisers. We have eight teams participating in the tournament, with players from across the state,” he added.
The participating district teams are from Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Wayanadu, Kannur, Thiruvananthapuram, Alappuzha and Kollam (two teams).
“As an upcoming construction company, we want to support the tournament as a unique combination of cricket and girls in one go,” said Anil Niketha, Creative Director of Vasthu Niketha. “We would love to see the tournament grow with more participation in the coming years,” he added.
The organisers, Sabin Iqbal and Gireesh Kumar, said the spirit behind the tournament is to combine the love and passion for cricket and commitment to empower girls. “The tournament is an effort to use cricket as a vehicle for empowering girls, and encourage them to come to the fore as women’s cricket in India is going to have a bright future,” said Iqbal.
Dr Shashi Tharoor MP will present the winners’ trophy on July 29 at 5 pm at the KCA-St. Xaviers Ground at Thumba.