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American Cricket Federation (ACF) announced on Monday that it had signed on as the title sponsor for the 2013 Atlanta Women’s T20 Cricket Tournament. The tournament, now in its third year, will be held in Atlanta, GA over the Memorial Day Weekend, 25th and 26th of May, 2013.
“ACF’s mission is to inspire Americans to play and to excel at cricket regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or age. There is no better way to achieve our mission than to support existing grassroots initiatives such as the Atlanta Women’s T20,” Durga Das, Steering Committee Member and Women’s Coordinator of ACF is quoted as saying in the ACF media release.
Pic (Right): Atlanta Women's T20 will offer $3000 in prizes
ACF’s sponsorship is a reaffirmation of its intent to support grassroots cricket as a priority, the release noted.
Over the last three years, the Atlanta Women’s T20 has made significant strides and is now USA’s premier open format T20 tournament for women. This was in large part due to the single-minded focus of Petal Samuels, the founder of Georgia Women Cricket Association (GWCA).
ACF's announcement on March 29th followed a media release on March 27th by GWCA, announcing that the tournament had received USACA sanction. "The permission of USACA and its blessings on the tournament was well received by all of the eligible women cricketers expected to participate in the tournament," GWCA noted in its release.
“In 2012, we facilitated the highly successful Men’s T20 tournament in Los Angeles. It is our privilege to be associated with the premier Women’s T20 in 2013,” Prof. Gangaram Singh, ACF Advisory Committee member is quoted as saying in the ACF release. “In the coming months, as our membership continues to grow, we intend to announce more initiatives,” Prof. Singh noted.
In his letter addressed to Petal Samuels, USACA CEO Darren Beazley wrote: "The Atlanta Women’s Annual T20 Tournament appears to be a most impressive sporting event and cricket is extremely pleased to be involved. A major priority for USACA is the development of women’s cricket and I congratulate your Association for your initiative."
The support of both organizations for a women's cricket initiative is interesting, and good for the sport. ACF's sponsorship of a USACA sanctioned event underscores ACF's desire to be seen as a progressive organization. For USACA, which has sanctioned both a women's and a men's T20 tournament this past week, it is a way to earn the trust of the cricketing community.
The women's tournament features defending champions Atlantis Cricket Club of New York, Atlantic Region Lady Eagles, a Cayman Islands XI, and host team Atlanta Pearls. The tournament gets underway at Creel Park, 2775 Creel Road, College Park, GA on Saturday, May 25 and concludes at McNair Fields, 2800 Burdett Road, Atlanta, GA on Sunday, May 26.