Arusha — THE Arusha junior cricket league rolls into the semi-finals on Saturday, this week, with both favourites and surprise packages scheduled to engage in an exciting battle for a place in the final.
Arusha Regional Cricket Committee (ARCC) organizes the league through its junior development division with a view to promote the sport among youths in the region, apart from using the event to identify players for national junior teams of different age categories.
The region's junior development coordinator, Paul Manyanda, told the 'Daily News' that four outfits in boys and girls categories alike will battle it out in the last four's stage with all games taking place at the Arusha Gymkhana Club venue. "The girls' semi-final matches, to start early in the morning, will see Themi and Uhuru primary schools lock horns in the first game before Arusha School entertains Schools Combine shortly thereafter," he said.
Schools Combine, which will be eyeing an opportunity to lay hands on silverware for the first time ever, comprises players from different secondary schools, which did not have sufficient number of players to form their respective teams for the league. The boys' semi-finals will then be played in the afternoon, in which Arusha School will face Sekei Primary School in the first match while Prime School will meet Sekei Secondary School in the other game.
Arusha School and Schools Combine are surprise packages in the semi-finals of the girls' category this year and they will be out to stun favourites, Themi and Uhuru, which have been holding sway for a while. The final will take place on Wednesday in the following week, in which an assortment of prizes including trophies will be presented to the champions.
"We want to finish this tournament as soon as possible so that we can start a new junior league next month," said Manyanda and added that ARCC has already secured a sponsor for the league and the committee will soon meet the latter to discuss the details of the sponsorship.
According to the ARCC official, this year's Arusha junior league involved 17 teams in the boys' category while 14 squads battled it out in the girls' category in the preliminary stage. The boys' category had Arusha School, Arusha Meru Primary School, Engira Primary School, Kaloleni Primary School, Kijenge Primary School, Levolosi Primary School, Makumbusho Primary School and Meru Primary School.
Others are Njiro Hill primary and secondary schools, Prime School, Sanawari Primary School, Schools Combine, Sekei primary and secondary schools, Themi Primary School and Uhuru Primary School. The girls' category, comprising 14 teams, had Arusha School, Engira Primary School, Kaloleni Primary School, Kijenge Primary School, Njiro Hill primary and secondary schools, and Levolosi Primary School.
Others are Makumbusho Primary School, Meru Primary School, Sanawari Primary School, Schools Combine, Sekei Primary School, Themi Primary School and Uhuru Primary School.