A brief ceremony took place at the prestigious Paradise Beach hotel– Villa two, to be exact, on Thursday 8th February.
On that day, the Youth and Sports Department on Nevis, officially launched its T-20 franchise cricket tournament, which is set to bowl off Saturday 17th March.
Director of Sports, Mr. Jamir Claxton chaired the ceremony and pointed out that the tournament was eight months in planning and the department would have encountered several challenges getting it off the ground. Some of those challenges included the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria, last year.
He noted that his Department is committed to playing their role in terms of the development of Cricket on Nevis and will continue to partner with the Nevis Cricket Association and other entities, in this regard.
He stated that there has been a cry for more cricket and even though his department is more responsible for Cricket at the youth level, he is of the opinion that they could also include the more seasoned players as well.
He opined that the tournament could eventually be transformed into a semiprofessional league.
President of the Nevis Cricket Association, Mr. Denrick Liburd, in his remarks, stated that when he was informed of the proposed competition, he was elated because it meant more cricket for the youngsters on the island.
‘The Nevis Cricket Association cannot do it alone,’ he stated. He observed that his association concluded a tournament in December 2017 and with this T-20 league to be complemented with the upcoming local league, there will be lots of cricket on the island.
He implored the cricketers to take such opportunities seriously, as lots of money can be made from the game but impressed upon them the fact that they have to make the necessary commitment, in order to achieve. ‘The buck stops with you,’ he said.
Also present and giving his personal blessing and the blessing of his Ministry, to the tournament, was Minister of Sports, the Hon. Eric Evelyn.
He thanked the Youth and Sports department for coming up with the initiative and also had words of praise for the sponsors of the tournament.
‘As a government, we cannot do everything on our own,’ he said. He indicated that it is incumbent on the various departments on Nevis, to reach out to the corporate community on the island, to assist with the execution of some of their initiatives.
He noted that ministry will support all sporting activities but stated that cricket was a central focus of Nevisians and pointed to the outstanding achievements of Nevisians in the game. He also lauded the recent accomplishments of Keon Pemberton, West Indies under 19 player, who was present at the ceremony.
He indicated that he was a lover of the game and grew up in a family where cricket took precedence. His father and one of his brothers, actually played for the Nevis team.
He fully endorsed the tournament and wished the players well.
Mr. Vijay Harinarine of the Youth and Sports department, then officially introduced the four franchise teams:
1The Super sixers-captained by Jason Campbell and he was accompanied by Ross Powell
- High Voltage-captained by Tonito Willet and he was accompanied by Bodgenarine Sharma
- The Smashers-captained by Adelvin Phillip and he was accompanied by Keon Pemberton
- Big Rock-captained by Carlos Adolphus
The sponsors of the tournament were identified as follows:
Main sponsor-Paradise Beach hotel
Digicel-sponsor of play of the day and player of each match
L and L liquor store for sponsoring a bottle of Clifton Estate rum for each game, to the player of the match.
Jamir Claxton then conducted a brief interview with Adelvin Phillip and Tonito Willet, who both indicated that they were excited about the tournament and were both looking forward to see it blossom into an international league within the next five years, which would involve overseas international stars as well.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Vijay Harinarine.