ST JOHN’S, Antigua- For the first time since its inception back in 2009, the Inter-Church Cricket League will host a team from outside the Seventh Day Adventist circle.
This is according to one of the chief organisers, Seth Burton, who has revealed that the league will feature a guest team when they bowl off this weekend.
“We have embraced a team that has asked us to be a part of the league and it’s a non-Seventh Day Adventist team and we are very happy to welcome some of our Pentecostal brethrens who have indicated they would like to have a team and we are going to be having them playing with us this year as a guest team,” he said.
“So we now have 16 teams and we are starting this weekend at Powell’s.”
Explaining that this year’s format will differ somewhat from previous years, Burton explained that teams are now guaranteed more matches in the preliminary stage of the competition.
“We have the regular league and the top teams advance straight to the quarterfinals. So, therefore, this year, unlike the other years when we had four groups and three groups meaning that teams would have played four or five matches, this year has eight teams per group,” Burton said.
“So each team will actually play seven matches, which is a huge increase in the number of games, and then the top four from each group or zone would then advance to the quarterfinals, and you know the quarter-finals is like the play-offs.”
Group A comprises champions New Winthorpes, Clare Hall, Villa, Bible Speaks, Tindale, Seaglands, Bethesda and the Pentecostal guest team, while Group B will host New Maranatha, St John’s, Freetown, Parham, Liberta’s New Bethel, Liberta’s Orion, Bolans and Buckleys.
Saturday’s opening ceremony will commence at 8 pm, which will be followed by the opening league match featuring New Winthorpes and Clare Hall.
Matches subsequent to Saturday’s opening night will commence at 7:30 pm. Three matches will be played over the Carnival weekend from August 4 to 6, starting at 4 pm at Powell’s. (Neto Baptiste)