Schools in Pro20 deal

WHILE the Proteas were yesterday preparing for the second one-day international of the three-match series against India in Jaipur today, Cricket South Africa celebrated a major sponsorship extension with the official launch of the Standard Schools Pro20 Challenge.

"The Schools Pro20 Challenge will assist in developing an ongoing 'pipeline' of cricket for professional cricket in South Africa," said Standard Bank director of group sponsorships Clement Motale.

The 20-over tournament, which started on January 20 and ends with a two-day tournament featuring the top six schools at the end of next month, involves 340 schools from the 15 CSA cricket provinces. There are plans to extend the tournament to 500 schools over the next three years, and for a similar competition for girls.

The overall winner will receive R100000 from CSA for new cricket equipment and the upgrading of cricket facilities.

National cricket captain Graeme Smith welcomed the initiative.

"Sport at school - and cricket in particular - is important not only from a sporting perspective, but also forms part of the person you want to be," he said. - Sapa