The Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Jam Twenty20 Bashment to be contested by 23 teams returns to the fold after a four-year hiatus, the local governing body has announced.
The competition will last only five weeks starting this Saturday, May 18. It will be a mixture of round robin in the preliminary phase then enters the knock-out thereafter.
The 23 teams will be grouped into three zones of six teams and one zone with five teams, hunting the winning prize money of $400,000. The final is set for Sabina Park under lights.
On most occasions there will be a double header at one venue to really pull the crowd to one location for a fun-filled day of cricket.
The relaunch of the competition, which started in 2012 and lasted for three years, took place in George Headley stand at Sabina Park yesterday.
JCA President Wilford “Billy” Heaven welcomed the return of this format of cricket “that is not provided by Test cricket, neither by ODI”.
“Today we are launching the Jam T20 Bashment, a tournament whose return is timely. Its first iteration was three seasons long, 2012 to 2014, and now it's back and our clubs and associations are ready and raring to go,” said Heaven.
He continued: “The JCA's mandate is to promote and develop the sport of cricket in Jamaica. It is our duty to ensure that cricket is being played, this keeps our players active, fit and in a state of readiness for national duties. We have to provide a rich diet for our fans and supporters. In short, our talent must always be on display.
“T20 cricket provides an opportunity that is not provided by Test cricket, neither by ODI cricket. When we play cricket in Jamaica, we can only end up playing Test cricket for the West Indies. There are no further opportunities to play Test cricket other than the West Indies and even though that is good, that is laudable and remarkable, there is that limitation to Test cricket where numbers are concerned,” he pointed out.
“What format of the game gives you an opportunity generally and internationally? It is T20 cricket and that is the format that we launch today because it provides you an opportunity not only to play T20 cricket for the West Indies, but there are several other international T20 tournaments,” he added.
“If our players are good enough, you don't even have to play for the West Indies... couple months from now we have our own CPL here and that's a further launching pad and an avenue that can be followed leading up from what we launch today, which is the Jam T20 cricket,” said Heaven.
Heaven implored the players to go out and make their mark, make their names and make some money.
The last time the tournament was played in 2014, the UWI won. But before that, St Catherine Saints won the first two editions in 2012 and 2013.
UWI are drawn in Zone D alongside Melbourne, Police, G C Foster, Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and Portland. There will be no St Catherine Saints this time around and the parish will be represented by St Catherine Cricket Club and St Catherine Cricket Association in Zone B alongside St Elizabeth, Clarendon, Westmoreland and Manchester.
Kingston, Boys' Town, St Thomas, Kensington, Kingston and St Andrew Cricket Association (KSACA) and Lucas will contest Zone A, while Zone C comprises of St James, Hanover, St Ann, Trelawny and St Mary. The winners of the four zones will advance to the semi-finals.