The third edition of the Inter-School Cricket Tournament, under MI Junior, kick-started on Wednesday in Mumbai, and will be followed by matches in Pune and Nagpur.
The Mumbai leg commenced at Cross Maidan where former India fast bowler and Mumbai Indians Scout R Vinay Kumar interacted with the kids giving them valuable insights about cricket.
MI Junior is being held in association with Mumbai Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association and Maharashtra Cricket Association and will comprise of U-14 boys, U-16 boys and U-15 girls’ categories.
More than 2500 children from over 200 schools have signed up for the tournament across the three cities. For the first time, the tournament will include women umpires and scorers who are accredited with the cricket associations, officiating across the three cities.
The tournament, an initiative from the owners of Mumbai Indians, is back again after a gap of two years due to Covid-19. It is aimed at providing young kids with a competitive platform to showcase their talent.
As with previous seasons, an additional gratification for the winners of the tournament from Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur is an opportunity to train and gain invaluable knowledge under the guidance of a member of Mumbai Indians coaching team.
“As a professional athlete, I understand the importance of having a competitive setup and platform in your initial years to test yourself amongst the best talent and showcase your skills to get better constantly. MI Junior is an exciting inter school platform that will allow kids to play more games and continue to develop their craft.
The Mumbai Indians owners/ leadership/ management are focused on developing players and with MI being a grooming ground for young talent, MI Junior is one such instance towards creating and providing further opportunities for kids. I wish everyone the best of luck for the season and hope each child enjoys and makes the most of this opportunity,” said Vinay Kumar.
The tournament will also celebrate the maidan culture at Mumbai, and its iconic grounds like Cross Maidan, Shivaji Park, Oval Maidan, Azad Maidan, amongst many local grounds which have unearthed some of the finest cricketers in India.
The likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Zaheer Khan, have toiled hard in these grounds and have brought laurels to the nation.
“We are extremely happy to host the third season of MI Junior, an initiative very close to Mumbai Indians and its ethos of grooming talent to become the best versions of themselves. Since 2010, Mumbai Indians has been supporting Reliance Foundation ESA – Education and Sports for All, that focuses on providing quality education and sports opportunities to children across India.”
We would like to thank the Mumbai Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association and Maharashtra Cricket Association for their constant support since the first season of the tournament. With MI Junior we aim to give young cricketers the deserved exposure and experience of playing cricket in a competitive environment. We are committed towards providing opportunities aimed at the development of local cricket talent equally for both boys and girls,” said a spokesperson from Mumbai Indians.
Through this tournament, MI Junior seeks to ignite the spirit of sports amongst the younger generation and push for sports to become an integral part of the education system and Reliance Foundation’ ESA plays an important role.