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Trendsetter meet to kick off

Guwahati, April 18: Tagged a corporate cricket tournament, the 1st GTC-LNG T20 Corporate Champions League, organised by Gauhati Town Club at Judges Field from tomorrow, will be no less than the proposed Assam Premier League or any other big-money tournaments held in the state as far as competition is concerned.

With almost all the leading players of the state donning the colours of the eight different franchisee outfits, the monthlong event is apparently all set to be a trendsetter as far as professional cricket in Assam is concerned.

The teams — DD Hurricanes, Rooby Stars, Centenary Spartans, Mangalam Monks, Jain Group KRR, Gateway Royals, Prag Rhinos and NewsLive Riders — owned by various business and media houses of the state comprises not only Assam Ranji players, but also players from Bengal, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu. The players of various teams will be paid token honourarium by the franchises.

“It is a step in the right direction towards the beginning of professional cricket in our state. The involvement of all the leading players of the state is definitely going to make it a very competitive tournament,” said player Mukut Kalita, the skipper of Gateway Royals.

Ranji players Arminder Singh Oberoi, Ranjit Mali, Abhijit Singha Roy, Bitop Mahanta, Gokul Sharma, Dhiraj Goswami and Deep Borah are the skippers of the other seven teams. Altogether 31 matches will be played in the day and under floodlights as well.

The trophy for the Rs 10-lakh prize-money event is named after Lakshmi Narayan Jalan. Former Test player Karsan Ghavri unveiled the trophy during the launch ceremony of the tournament at the GTC auditorium here last night.

The ceremony was attended by Kamrup (metro) deputy commissioner A. Agnihotri, owners of the teams, their brand ambassadors, promoters, mentors and officials and players, among others. Before the inaugural match between DD Hurricanes and Mangalam Monks at 6.30pm tomorrow, a friendly match will be played involving two teams comprising brand ambassadors, promoters and mentors of the eight teams.