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NCPA U-19 League Kick Off: Ruaraka tackles Swamis as Kongonis host Star-studded Gymkhana

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The next seven weeks will be a whirlwind of activity when the newly-introduced Nairobi Provincial Cricket Association (NPCA) Under-19 50-Overs 2024 League gets underway at various venues on Sunday, April 7.

The time is indeed nigh for the start of a season that should treat fans to some exhilarating displays of cricket artistry.

To set the ball rolling, and bats swinging, Ruaraka and Swamibapa will face off in Group B’s top-of-the-bill match at Jamhuri.

In another Group B match, Obuya Academy U19 have a date with Cricket Kenya U19 at Lenana grounds. Group A also has two matches lined up for Sunday with Nairobi Gymkhana U19 taking on hosts Kongonis at Nairobi Club ground whilst Sikh Union U19 locks horns with Goan Institute (better known as GI) at Sikh Union.

The Gymkhana brigade is as good as the Kenya National Under19 team, as most of those players represent Kenya Under 19. Yash Talati is the overaged player on Gymkhana’s team list while Kenya Under-19 members Yash Gohil, Stian Smith and Dhir Patel are also in the mix.

Divided into two Groups of A and B, the Under-19 competition has attracted a total of 10 teams; but not all will play this weekend. Cutchi Leva and Kanbis U19s have byes -and as such- will be keenly watching as week 1 proceedings unfold.

But the player to look out for in Kanbis’ stable is left arm spinner Harshil Varsani who represents the sturdy “Eastleigh troops” in the Super League.

Darsh Panchani, SCLPS’ Super League opening batsman, indefatigable Super League all- rounder Ankit Bhanderi and Aditya Vekaria, who recently made his U19 debut in Easter’s Youth Games 2024 In Uganda, should be the players to watch in the Nairobi West outfit in the season.

NPCA Hon Secretary Narendra Patel aka NK is overly excited that the introduction of the Under 19 competition will act as a feeder to the Super Division and Division One club teams, and eventually represent the National side.

“We are excited with the number of teams confirming their participating (10) proving that the interest amongst the youth for cricket is alive. NK Said:

“The world’s cricket landscape is evolving at a breakneck pace, and usually in such an ecosystem of immense resilience and gusto, it is about finding talented youth with a genuine passion.”

“There is no shortcut to success, hence the need for intentional and structured investment in our youth and young talent. You can’t simply wave a magic wand and produce more young buddying cricket players just like that. The Under19 League will no doubt ascertain hidden talent, by and large. NPCA is allowing at least two senior players in each team to encourage the under 19’s. Only 2 over 19s and under 23’s can play at any given time, “expounded NK.

Against Ruaraka, Swamis will peg their hopes on off-spin middle order batsman. Krish Haria who played for the gallant Kenya U19. Haria plays for Swamibapa B Team in Division One.

Dylan Shah, a promising medium pace bowler fresh from academy training in India, will be among the players to watch in Swamibapa’ s outfit, and so are top order batsmen Prasang Hirani and Harendra Kerai who incidentally are the two over-aged members who have played for the Super Division team and been successful.

Ruaraka’ s over aged players in the team are Mayurkumar Gorasia, Jay Vekariya, Nishit Hirani and Kishan Pindoria.

 

WEEK 1 FIXTURES-NPCA UNDER-19 50-OVERS 2024 SEASON -SUNDAY APRIL 7

 GROUP A

Nairobi Gymkhana U19 vs Kongonis NAIROBI CLUB

Sikh Union U19 vs Goan Institute -GI U19 SIKH UNION

Kanbis BYE

GROUP B

Obuya Academy U19 vs Cricket Kenya U19 LENANA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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