Scotiabank, who pride themselves as sponsors of the regional game, starting from the youth level, pumped a 25 per cent increase into this year’s Scotiabank/Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Prep Schools Cricket competition yesterday.The increase will bring the sponsorship package to $5 million, along with MVP cash prizes of $50,000 for players in the counties of Cornwall, Middlesex and Surrey.”This increase in sponsorship is a testimony to our continued belief in the importance of investing in youth through developmental sports,” said Yanique Forbes-Patrick, vice-president, Scotiabank Marketing.”Always play your best game. Strive to be the best on your team. Be champions in your own right and make a difference in everything you do,” she implored the youngsters during yesterday’s launch at Lucas Cricket Club, after which defending champions Quest Prep and Richmond Prep played the competition’s opening game.BETTER CITIZENSCourtney Francis, CEO, Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), lauded Scotiabank for ensuring that “cricket is part of the medium to make you all (players) better citizens, more responsible, understand and learn at this stage how to be part of a team and how to be able to contribute to society”.Quest were crowned national champions for the first time last year, after defeating Hydel Prep by 10 runs in the final at Lucas.Hydel, the most successful school with two national titles (2012, 2013) and four in Surrey, followed by St Peter and Paul, Monymusk, Mona, Lannaman, Belair Prep and Quest one each.In Cornwall, there are only two winners; Denis Tobin in 2005 and 2006, while St James have been unbeatable since 2007.Quest’s coach, Leonard Malcolm, told The Gleaner his team is missing about eight players from last year, “but we are a competitive school and we are going to compete to try and retain our crown”.The competition will run to June 12 and feature a total of 48 teams, with approximately 121 matches across three counties.The competition began in 2003 and has grown from 24 schools to 48; 24 from Kingston and St Andrew and St Catherine, 12 from Middlesex and 12 from Cornwall.Prep school standouts to come from the competition include Brandon King, who has represented Jamaica at all levels, Brad Barnes (2013), Raewin Senior (2014) and Kirk McKenzie last year.West Indies’ World T20 men and women’s champions, Marlon Samuels and Stafanie Taylor, respectively, also participated and signed bats and balls for the youngsters.
0Shares0000Paulo Dybala scored the goal at Wembley that sent Juventus through at the expense of Tottenham © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLOTURIN, Italy, Apr 3 – Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri is expecting Argentine ace Paulo Dybala to fire against Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.“Dybala will play a great game, he has grown a lot both on the physical and psychological level and is coming into his own scoring a nice goal against AC Milan,” said Allegri. The 24-year-old Argentine scored 10 goals in the opening six Serie A games, but only four in the league between the end of September and early March, with a dip in form followed by a hamstring injury.But he ended his long wait for a European goal with the winner in the 2-1 second-leg victory over Tottenham at Wembley, with his tally of 22 goals in all competitions including a stunning opener in Saturday’s 3-1 win over AC Milan.Allegri believes learning from their devastating 4-1 final defeat to Real Madrid in Cardiff last year will be the key to victory over two legs in the next week.“From a psychological point of view we really need to stay in the match. In Cardiff after 2-1 we weren’t in the match, we gave up a bit,” said Allegri, who believes Juventus have “improved and can scare” Real.And he said he did not envy Real’s extensive European trophy cabinet with 12 titles to Juventus’s two, won in 1985 and 1996.“Jealousy and envy are not part of my character. Real Madrid are an extraordinary team but Juventus will be up to expectations and will fight tomorrow night.”Allegri faces two major absentees with Miralem Pjanic and Medhi Benatia both suspended for the first leg.“Either (Claudio) Marchisio or (Rodrigo) Bentancur, one of the two will play tomorrow,” he said.“Then I will have to decide between (Daniele) Rugani and (Andrea) Barzagli, and who will play up front.“Both (Mario) Mandzukic and Alex Sandro are in very good shape, I’ll see tomorrow whether or not they play, as well as (Juan) Cuadrado who has come back.“We have basically the whole squad available apart from the two suspended players.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)