Region's best juniors ready to compete

TOURNAMENT: Quality Wool managing director Mark Dyson, SA Redbacks star Chadd Sayers and tournament coordinator Kane McKay are ready for the Quality Wool Cup's 10th edition, to take place in Port Lincoln this month. Photo: Supplied
TOURNAMENT: Quality Wool managing director Mark Dyson, SA Redbacks star Chadd Sayers and tournament coordinator Kane McKay are ready for the Quality Wool Cup's 10th edition, to take place in Port Lincoln this month. Photo: Supplied

Quality Wool and the Eyre Peninsula Junior Cricket Association will salute a decade-long partnership as the Quality Wool Cup celebrates its 10th anniversary in Port Lincoln later this month.

The milestone edition of the two-day under 14 Twenty20 cricket competition will begin on Wednesday, January 20 - 10 years after the concept first took flight in January 2012.

Eight teams from across the region will be taking part, including Port Lincoln Tuna Kings, Port Lincoln Great Whites, Eastern Eyre, Far West, Tumby Bay Dolphins, Le Hunte, Kimba Cats and Great Flinders.

Matches will be played at Port Lincoln's Centenary Oval, Poole Oval and Ravendale Complex.

Quality Wool managing director Mark Dyson paid tribute to Eyre Peninsula's junior sporting community, calling the concept a "genuine collaboration" between the company and the region.

"Bringing up ten years is extremely significant for us, given that time period represents a third of the company's entire existence," he said.

"Well over 500 kids have gone through the Quality Wool Cup over the past decade, which we think represents a genuine and meaningful long-term commitment to the local community.

"And we absolutely love doing it - it's been the buy-in from EP junior cricket and the families that's been the key to its longevity and success."

SA Redbacks star Chadd Sayers has joined forces with Quality Wool to help launch the 2021 tournament by signing three shirts to be awarded to the leading batter, bowler and fielder.

The 315-wicket veteran, who in 2018 made his Test debut for Australia, said investment in the game at grassroots level was crucial to its success at the top end.

"A number of the boys in the Redbacks squad such as Luke Robins and Henry Hunt come from the country, so it just shows how important it is to keep the game strong in those regional areas," he said.

"All the SACA teams (Redbacks, Strikers and Scorpions) get out on the road and do plenty of coaching clinics to make sure that happens.

"Obviously it's been a crazy year, so it's great to hear something like this is still going ahead and ten years is a fair effort."

The Quality Wool Cup is modelled on the Big Bash League, with coloured clothing and stumps, plus eight 'franchises' from the region's cricket associations taking part.

The format was devised by Glen Forbes of Quality Wool and EP Junior Cricket Association's Tom Kenny as a way of investing back into the local community.

More than 100 kids participate every year.

Lincoln Tuna Kings are the reigning champions, having snared the 2020 tournament after a thrilling final-day finish that saw the top four teams separated by percentage only.

This story Region's best juniors ready to compete first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.