MI Junior returns: Over 200 schools from around Maharashtra participate

By Mumbai Indians

Mumbai, December 21 2022: The third edition of the Inter-School Cricket Tournament - MI Junior kick started today (December 21st) in Mumbai, to be followed by Pune and Nagpur. The Mumbai leg commenced at Cross Maidan where former Indian national team player and Mumbai Indians Scout, R Vinay Kumar interacted with the kids 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 comprise of U-14 boys, U-16 boys and U-15 girls’ categories. More than 2500 children from over 200 schools have signed up for the tournament across the three cities. For the first time, the tournament will include women umpires and scorers who are accredited with the cricket associations, officiating across the three cities.

MI Junior is an initiative conceptualized by Mumbai Indians owner Mrs. Nita Ambani, who has been the flag bearer of promoting sports as part of the educational curriculum has been spearheading various grassroots sports initiatives through Reliance Foundation including ESA (Education and Sports for All). The tournament, back again after 2 years gap induced due to Covid 19 is aimed at providing young kids with a competitive platform to showcase their talent. As with previous seasons, an additional gratification for the winners of the tournament from Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur is an opportunity to train and gain invaluable knowledge under the guidance of a member of Mumbai Indians Coaching Team.

Speaking on the new season of MI Junior, Mumbai Indians Spokesperson said, “We are extremely happy to host the third season of MI Junior, an initiative very close to Mumbai Indians and its ethos of grooming talent to become the best versions of themselves. Since 2010, Mumbai Indians has been supporting Reliance Foundation ESA - Education and Sports for All, that focuses on providing quality education and sports opportunities to children across India. We would like to thank the Mumbai Cricket Association, Vidarbha Cricket Association and Maharashtra Cricket Association for their constant support since the first season of the tournament. With MI Junior we aim to give young cricketers the deserved exposure and experience of playing cricket in a competitive environment. We are committed towards providing opportunities aimed at the development of local cricket talent equally for both boys and girls.”

Talking at the launch of the third edition of MI Junior, R Vinay Kumar, Scout – Mumbai Indians said, “As a professional athlete, I understand the importance of having a competitive setup and platform in your initial years to test yourself amongst the best talent and showcase your skills to get better constantly. MI Junior is an exciting inter school platform that will allow kids to play more games and continue to develop their craft. The Mumbai Indians owners/ leadership/ management are focused on developing players and with MI being a grooming ground for young talent, MI Junior is one such instance towards creating and providing further opportunities for kids. I wish everyone the best of luck for the season and hope each child enjoys and makes the most of this opportunity.”

The tournament also celebrates the maidan culture at Mumbai, the iconic grounds like Cross Maidan, Shivaji Park, Oval Maidan, Azad Maidan, amongst many local grounds which have unearthed some of the finest cricketers in India. The likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Zaheer Khan, have toiled hard in these grounds and have bought laurels to the nation. MI Junior through this tournament seeks to ignite the spirit of sports amongst the younger generation and push for sports to become an integral part of the education system and Reliance Foundation’ ESA plays an important role.

ESA (Education and Sports for All) is one of the key initiatives of Reliance Foundation, combining its focus areas of education and sports for development and Mumbai Indians have been supporting ESA since 2010. The ESA initiative seeks to provide holistic development through a focus on education & sports and to enhance the quality of the sporting ecosystem by providing facilities, training, infrastructure, and equipment across multiple sporting properties through the year. Kids also get the opportunity to watch a live home game of Mumbai Indians, which is fondly referred to as ‘ESA day’.

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