MI Junior is back with its third edition in which more than 200 schools across Maharashtra are participating | Daily News Byte

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Mumbai: The third edition of the Inter-Schools Cricket Tournament – ​​MI Junior kick began on Wednesday (December 21) in Mumbai, followed by Pune and Nagpur.

The Mumbai match started at the Cross Maidan where former Indian international and Mumbai Indians scout, R Vinay Kumar spoke to the children giving them valuable insights about cricket.

MI Junior is being held in association with Mumbai Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association and Maharashtra Cricket Association and will consist of U-14 Boys, U-16 Boys and U-15 Girls categories. More than 2500 children from over 200 schools registered for the tournament from three cities.

For the first time, the tournament will feature women umpires and Cricket Association-accredited scorers, who will officiate in three cities.

MI Junior is an initiative conceptualized by Mumbai Indians owner Ms. Nita Ambani, who has been the driving force behind promoting sports as part of the education program and spearheaded various grassroots sports initiatives through the Reliance Foundation, including ESA (Education and Sports for All). The tournament, which has returned after a two-year hiatus caused by Covid-19, aims to give young kids a competitive platform to showcase their talent. As in previous seasons, an added treat for the winners of the Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur tournaments is the opportunity to train and gain invaluable knowledge under the guidance of a member of the Mumbai Indians Coaching Team.

Speaking about the new season of MI Junior, a Mumbai Indians spokesperson said, “We are extremely happy to host the third season of MI Junior, an initiative that is very close to Mumbai Indians and their ethos of nurturing talent to become the best version of themselves.

“Since 2010, Mumbai Indians have supported Reliance Foundation ESA – Education and Sports for All, which focuses on providing quality education and sports opportunities to children across India. We would like to thank Mumbai Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association and Maharashtra Cricket Association for their continuous support since the first season of the tournament.

“With MI Junior, we want to give young cricketers the exposure and experience they deserve to play cricket in a competitive environment. We are committed to providing opportunities for the development of local cricketing talent for both boys and girls alike,” the spokesperson added.

Speaking at the presentation of the third edition of MI Junior, R. Vinay Kumar, Scout – Mumbai Indians said, “As a professional sportsperson, I understand the importance of having a competitive setting and platform in your early years to test yourself amongst the best talent and showcase your skills to constantly improve.

“MI Junior is an exciting cross-school platform that will allow kids to play more games and continue to develop their craft.” Mumbai Indians Owners/Leadership/Management are focused on player development and as MI is a foundation for young talent, MI Junior is one such instance to create and provide further opportunities for kids. I wish everyone the best of luck for the season and I hope every child enjoys and makes the most of this opportunity.”

The tournament also celebrates the Maidan culture of Mumbai, iconic grounds like Cross Maidan, Shivaji Park, Oval Maidan, Azad Maidan among many local grounds that have discovered some of India’s best cricketers. Like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Zaheer Khan toiled hard in these areas and bought laurels to the nation. Through this tournament, MI Junior strives to ignite the sports spirit among the younger generation and encourage sports to become an integral part of the education system and ESA Reliance Foundation plays an important role.

ESA (Education and Sports for All) is one of the key initiatives of the Reliance Foundation, which combines its focus areas of education and sports for development, and Mumbai Indians have been supporting ESA since 2010. The ESA initiative seeks to ensure holistic development through a focus on education and sports and improving the quality of the sports ecosystem by providing facilities, training, infrastructure and equipment in several sports facilities throughout the year. Children also get a chance to watch a live Mumbai Indians home game, fondly referred to as ‘ESA Day’.

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