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Posted: Thursday 16 May, 2024 at 5:00 PM

No official ICC T20 warm-up matches for Warner Park

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- Despite several instances of Sports Minister Samal Duggins stating that the Federation has shown interest in staging warm-up matches in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, St. Kitts and Nevis did not make the cut.


    The International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body for the sport, this afternoon released the official list of venues for warm-up games, and Warner Park was not included.


    “The venues to host the 16 warm-up matches are the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium, Grand Prairie, Texas, Broward County Stadium, Broward County, Florida, and Queen’s Park Oval and Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad and Tobago,” an ICC press statement disclosed.


    Following the announcement by the minister last year that the Federation would not bid to host matches in the tournament because the venue was not in proper condition, he was optimistic that warm-up games would be staged in the Federation.


    But matches are scheduled to be played from Monday, May 27th, to Saturday, June 1st, across the USA and at two venues in Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies.


    Despite not securing any games in the tournament, the Federation has welcomed four teams that are camped on the island for preparation and acclimatization over a 10-day period. During an interview with SKNVibes recently, the minister pointed out that the federation will gain exposure from the traveling media with those teams, which form part of a broader thrust by the government to enhance the federation. In acknowledging the Federation as not being a strong cricketing nation, the minister noted that it is part of developing the skillset of the local players who will be utilized during the warm-up sessions in the Federation.


    He reminded that the reason for not bidding for matches was due in part to the financial priorities that the opportunity cost associated with limited resources at the time, including the construction of the Basseterre High School and the new hospital.


    “We met a deplorable water situation; our people in many areas did not have water, so we had to invest in that. We met failing electrical infrastructure where we saw load shedding for months and months; we had to invest in that,” the minister said.


    He continued: “So when we look at the gamut of stuff that we had to invest in, we recognized that the World Cup at the time would not represent the best use of the funds in development at this particular point in time. It is not that we did not want the World Cup - of course, we wanted the World Cup - but do you prioritize the World Cup over a brand new hospital?”


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