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Major boost for Isle of Man Youth Cricket Festival 17 July 2006

There was a boost recently for the Isle of Man Youth Cricket Festival – due to be held in August – with the news that for the second successive year a team will be travelling from India to take part.

Last year the Turf Sports Management squad from New Delhi joined others from the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man in the five day festival. The Indian side won the under 13 section but it has been confirmed that a new team will be competing this time – at under 15 level.

The 2006 event, sponsored by Standard Bank with further support from the Department of Tourism and Leisure, will be brought to a wider audience, thanks to the involvement of a television production crew. One of the teams who came to the Island last year was The Mount from West Yorkshire who are being featured in a programme to be screened by the BBC in the autumn.

Mount’s young cricketers are being followed round by Lion TV as part of a series entitled ‘The Great British Summer’ fronted by the BBC’s gardening presenter Alan Titchmarsh. Lion are travelling to the Island to chart their progress in the Youth Cricket Festival.

Sponsorship Officer for the Isle of Man Cricket Association, Trevor Baker, said they were delighted with the involvement of a second team from India and also for the extra publicity the television connection would bring both for cricket and the Island itself. He added:

‘One of the benefits resulting from last year’s Festival was an immediate effect on the standard of cricket played by the Isle of Man under 15 squad. ‘Shortly after the Festival they took part in an international tournament in Italy and ended up winning it. We are convinced this was due in no small way to the fact that they were able to bond as a unit during the Isle of Man event and by playing against such high quality visiting sides.’

The Cricket Association’s Team Liaison Officer, Oliver Steriopulos, is in touch with other clubs to finalise entries, as well as arranging the travel and fixture lists. The matches will be run on a round robin basis, 35 overs a side, with the leading two teams playing off for the major honours.

Tourism and Leisure Minister David Cretney – whose Department is helping with logistical and financial support – said:

‘This was a new addition to our sporting calendar last year and proved a tremendous success. It was hoped that by competing against top quality sides it would also raise the standard of Manx junior cricket and this has clearly proved to be the case. ‘I know the organisers have been keen to promote the Island itself during the Festival and time is allowed on the schedule to show the young cricketers, and their coaches, something of the Isle of Man’s beauty. As Minister of Tourism I obviously welcome this approach.’

The Festival runs from August 7th to 11th with the visiting teams staying at the Castletown Golf Links Hotel, which is one of the main sponsors. Matches take place at King William’s College and the Cronkbourne Club’s ground at Tromode.

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