Guwahati, Jan. 28: Defending champions Navajyoti Club will lock horns with City Cricket Club in the inaugural match of the XIth Jugal Kishore Newatia Bud Challenge invitation cricket tournament at Nehru Stadium here on Wednesday.
Altogether eight leading teams of the city and Radial Club of Nagaon will participate in the annual tournament, which is the flagship event of organiser Bud Cricket Club. The other teams from the city are Navarang Club, Santipur Athletic Club, River Rine Club, Ankurjyoti Club, Gauhati Town Club and hosts Bud Cricket Club. The champions will take home Rs 41,000 in cash along with the trophy and the runners-up will be richer by Rs 21,000.
The tournament, which will continue till February 10, will this time miss some of the leading Ranji players of the state owing to the ongoing selection trials for the Vijay Hazare Trophy limited overs East Zone tournament that will get under way in Calcutta from February 14.
“All the clubs are going to miss some of their key players. But, there will be some promising new faces in most of the teams and the tournament will definitely not lose its competitive nature,” Bud Cricket Club general secretary Mukut Kalita said.
The Assam Cricket Association has restricted all the players in selection trials for any of the state teams from representing even their respective districts in even ACA tournaments during the course of camps.
Meanwhile, Santipur AC, which is observing its Diamond Jubilee year, is going to field a team for the first time in this tournament.
With most of its players having signed for other clubs for the ongoing season, the historic club had to stay away from the tournament this season. “There is an acute crisis for players in the senior level this time,” said club general secretary Tauhid Ali Talukdar. The biggest casualty of the ACA stricture is Bud Cricket Club, which has been missing nine of their regulars in the ongoing tournaments, owing to the selection trials.