Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 24, 2017 (SKNIS): St. Kitts and Nevis’ hosting duties for the 2017 Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) tournament concluded on Wednesday night (August 23), but the impact of the games will continue to reverberate for weeks and months.
The local franchise, the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, has played its way to an impressive second place standing in the points table to date, having won five of its eight matches – only losing two. One of the matches was classified as “No Result.” The performance of the team, captained by star Chris Gayle, has earned the squad a spot in the playoffs, the first time in the franchise’s three year history. Fans packed Warner Park for the four local matches held from August 18 to 23. The numbers and the festive atmosphere they created at the games drew compliments from the commentary team, players and visitors.
“The CPL has been a wonderful opportunity for people to come in to enjoy what’s best of St. Kitts and Nevis and generally to have a good time,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, said during a live interview at last night’s final game. That match was highly anticipated as it featured a clash with the Trinbago Knight Riders, the top team in the competition.
Viewership for the tournament in 2016 was a record 134 million persons with growth in several markets including the United Kingdom, the United States, India, sub-Saharan Africa, Australia and the Middle East. Those numbers are expected to rise in 2017.
Statistics from the international research firm SMG Insight/YouGov suggested that the CPL pumped more than $61 million in the St. Kitts and Nevis economy last year when it hosted four preliminary matches as well as the semifinals and finals.
Promotional images and messages of the twin-island federation were beamed around the world during the broadcast, particularly during the post card segment. While the playoffs will be held in Trinidad this year, economic benefits will still be realized locally.
Prime Minister Harris said “we have had value for money in terms of the publicity, in terms of the participation and all of us at the end of the game will go home feeling that this was an experience which we will long remember and St. Kitts and Nevis has been an excellent host to date and we hope to continue to even surpass our hospitality next year.”
Fans of the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots are hoping that the team will continue to provide positive memories as the tournament continues and can seal a victory at its end.