Popular Sports Journalist on St.Kitts, Vernon Springer is of the view that all of the significant stakeholders in St.Kitts and Nevis, combined to pull off another fantastic experience for cricket fans around the world, during the staging of some nine games as part of the CPL 2015 experience.
“I want to give credit to the entire federation of St.Kitts and Nevis; the Government of St.Kitts and Nevis and the owners of the St.Kitts-Nevis Patriots Mr. Uday Nayak and Mr. Mohammed Ansari,” he said in a recent interview.
He noted that the fans may feel slighted as the team did not make it into the play offs but indicated that the team competed well in spite of everything.
He further noted that St.Kitts and Nevis, the Warner Park facility to be exact, hosted 19 CPL games in two years-2014 and 2015.
He applauded the Nevisian crowds who supported the games and said that after the 2014 experience, very quickly the organizers realized that it was a ‘cardinal sin’ for tickets not to be sold in Nevis and so this year, arrangements were made for tickets to be sold at the Courts Nevis center.
He sees a lot of spill off benefits for St. Kitts and Nevis in having their own franchise. He pointed to such indicators as worldwide recognition for players; ensuring that over the next three years that more local players will make it into the draft; the owners, are making arrangement with their Indian partners to establish an academy in St.Kitts; the owners will also be making contacts with the local Associations in both islands to assist with the cricket programs at all age levels.
The economic impact last year for St.Kitts and Nevis, showed the federation placing second to Barbados with over 25 million dollars in revenue and predicts that this year may be even better.
He stated that the Marriott hotel did exceptionally well this year, and the Four Seasons Resort was highly rated by the persons who went over to Nevis to play Golf on their off days. Some of the umpires have made the request that next time around, they want to stay at the Four Seasons Resort.
Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo also took time out on an off day to visit the grave site of their fallen comrade, Runako Morton.
He also pointed to the benefits of utilizing the popular twitter accounts of persons like Kevin Petersen who has over three million contacts on twitter. “When he speaks about St.Kitts and Nevis, lots of people will listen,” said Springer.
In terms of the onfield performance of the local team, he does not feel that Afridi turned up this time; Tanvir was a little off the boil and Marlon Samuels needs to be replaced as a captain, going forward.
He believes that St.Kitts and Nevis has the best infrastructure in terms of cricket throughout the Caribbean and stated that local commentators need to sell the federation more.
Springer also stated that he will shortly be vying for a position within the Leeward Islands Cricket board.
“I think I am at that stage where I am willing to make a difference in Leeward Islands cricket for the next four to five years…whatever position I can fill”, he said.