MSSA decide to alter format of prestigious inter-school tournaments to ensure level-playing field
The Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) has decided to change the format of the prestigious Giles Shield (U-14) and Harris Shield (U-16 inter-school tournaments from the forthcoming season.
According to the new format, all the participating teams (120 in Giles and 130 schools in Harris) will be divided into groups of four. These teams will then play 45-over preliminary-round matches in a knockout format till the quarter-final stage.
The top 16 teams at the end of the knockouts will then be divided into four Elite Division groups, where they will play in a league-cum-knockout format.
The quarter-final losers (one from each group) will make the Plate Division semi-finals. "Till last year, we had two separate tournaments in both Harris and Giles — Elite Division and Plate Division. We noticed that a strong team would often end up making record-breaking scores against weaker opponents.
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"To ensure a level-playing field, we have decided to experiment with this format," MSSA cricket secretary HS Bhor told mid-day yesterday.
He went onto to explain the format in the later stages. "Once we get the 16 Elite Division teams, the format of the league-cum-knockout will remain the same.
They will play three league rounds and the team with maximum points will play the semi-finals. This format will also enable more boys to showcase their skills and give all players a fair chance."
Like earlier, the Elite Division's league matches will be played over three days with a four-day final, while the semi-finals of the Plate Division of two days each with a three-day final.
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