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Indian side confirmed for Isle of Man Cricket Festival 30 June 2005

    It has been confirmed that a team from India will be travelling to the Island for the inaugural Isle of Man Youth Cricket Festival being staged from August 1-5.

    The Turf Sports Management under-13 side from New Delhi will add an international flavour to the proceedings. They join other squads from England and Ireland in a competition also featuring the Isle of Man junior teams.

    The event was conceived following an initiative from the Isle of Man Cricket Coaches Association who are organising the Festival with the support of the Isle of Man Cricket Association. There will be separate competitions at under-13 and under-15 levels with five teams in each group including one in each from the Isle of Man. Sides representing Rawtenstall, Bradford, Bedford, and Wokingham & Bracknell, travel from England with Killyclooney flying the flag for Ireland.

    Festival co-ordinator Trevor Baker explained that while the original idea had come from the Island’s cricket coaches, members of the cricket association had also used their contacts to spread the word about the event. Mr Baker approached the ruling Cricketing Boards in England and Ireland who were both helpful in passing details on to their respective members. The involvement of the Indian club came from a suggestion by one of the Bradford sides and Mr. Baker followed up all the various initial contacts to issue invitations to take part.

    He added: ‘As coaches we are keen to spread the message about cricket and encourage young children to enjoy the game. Hopefully they will continue playing as adults and even become coaches as well! We also want to emphasise that the Isle of Man is a premier cricketing venue.’

    ‘But the Festival is about much more than just cricket. While we are obviously keen to promote the professionalism and ethos of good behaviour in the game, we also want to show off the beauty of the Island to our guests in the hope that it may encourage them to come back.’

    Around 175 players and coaches are involved in the Festival with matches taking place at Crosby, St.John’s, Cronkbourne and King William’s College. Travel arrangements have been made by Onchan-based Travel Services (Isle of Man) with the visiting teams all staying at King William’s.

    The event is being supported financially by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism, although the organisers are still hoping to attract additional sponsorship.

    Tourism Minister David Cretney said: ‘The Department is always looking to work with local organisations to back innovative ventures of this nature and this one will certainly benefit not only the game of cricket but the Island itself.

    ‘Playing against different teams in a competitive atmosphere will bring out the best in our local juniors and I can see the Isle of Man Youth Cricket Festival going from strength to strength and possibly even becoming an annual event. I congratulate everyone involved for coming up with such an excellent concept.’

    Mr.Baker confirmed that it was the ambition of the Isle of Man Cricket Coaches Association to stage the tournament on a yearly basis. The 2005 event concludes with a presentation ceremony on Friday August 5 after the final round of games.

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