BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AFTER two weeks of hosting and organising practice and competition games in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup across four venues, the Federation’s leg came to an end on Saturday (Jan. 22) and it was given a thumbs up by Sports Minister Jonel Powell.
This is the first time that the Federation and the region have hosed the premier junior cricket tournament, and the Minister welcomed that the St. Kitts-Nevis had hosted 16 matches, as international cricket returned to the Federation after a one year hiatus.
“It is always good to be able to have international cricket, much more world cup cricket here in St. Kitts and Nevis. It is good to be able to take it outside of Warner Park; that in itself is significant. And to be here at Conaree says a lot of St. Kitts and Nevis as a cricketing and sports tourism destination,” explained Powell.
The Federation has, over the last several years, been establishing itself as one of those destinations where cricket would be pushed as a means to bring more tourists to the islands, and at the same time expand and advertise the St. Kitts and Nevis’ footprint on the international market.
Ministries of Tourism and Sports have been working closely to bring the benefits to the islands, with the Federation hosting the 2021 season of the Caribbean Premier League; which was used as an avenue where tourism officials could market the islands to the wider world.
The games at Warner Park were described as high-quality and high-standard by the Minister, who noted that it was a welcomed position that people within the Federation could be able to see competition of that nature from the next generation up close.
The youth tournament is often the platform used by many international stars to springboard their careers into the various senior teams, including the likes of Alzaree Joseph and Shimron Hetmyer, two of the region's top youth players, who transitioned from the successful 2016 team.
“I hope that by having these matches here, I am hoping that our local cricketers in particular…are looking and seeing what is achievable and what is possible and that this encourages them to step up,” Powell said.
Powell congratulated the Nevisian players who made the Windies squad, and called for all cricketers from St. Kitts to step up for their chance to play for the regional side.