The Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association has decided to shift back to its tested format of Limited overs tournaments in a bid to propel junior cricketers to fight for a result instead of dragging on the games, to earn points in Inter School Junior tournaments.
For the last several years, the Under-15 and Under-17 tournaments were held as innings matches where the teams future depended on the amount of points they earn in each match.
The forthcoming SLSCA Inter School Under-15 and Under-17 tournaments, for which registrations are underway now, will be conducted as Limited Overs tournaments.
`Years ago, the SLSCA conducted its junior tournaments as Limited overs tournaments. The Limited Overs tournaments were replaced with several formats during the past few years. The experiences in those tournaments compelled us to go back to the limited overs format,` a spokesperson for SLSCA told The Island .
The decision to go back to the Limited Overs format was taken at a joint meeting between the SLC s Cricket Committee and the Tournament Committee of the SLSCA.
`For several years, the idea of a limited over format for the junior tournaments had been discussed at SLSCA executive committee meetings. But it never went beyond discussion. This year it had the backing of the SLC for us to go ahead with it,` the spokesperson said.
Sri Lanka Under-19 teams failures at several Junior World Cup tournaments is said to have fueled SLC s push for Limited Overs tournaments. Although the Junior cricketers get a chance to play Limited Overs cricket in the SLSCA Premier Limited overs tournament, a better portion of the cricketers who excel in that First XI tournament are not in the right age category to play in the Junior World Cup. And that compelled the selectors to look for players in the right age category in junior level tournaments where no Limited Over matches are played.
With the two junior tournaments, Under-15 and Under-17 tournaments going back to the Limited Overs format, the selectors will have prospects of earmarking possible candidates to fill World Cup squads at an early stage, one SLSCA official observed.
The Power Plays and the Thirty Yard circle will be utilized as well in these tournaments with the latter being amended to suit different ground conditions.
During the past few years, the Under-15 and Under-17 tournament matches were held as innings matches. The first round matches of these tournaments were held as innings matches played on a single day, while knockout stage matches were held as two-day matches.