St. Kitts cricket heading to higher level
BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS - Acknowledging that St. Kitts is the only island among the Leeward/Windward islands that has not placed a player on the senior West Indies Cricket team, the St. Kitts Cricket Association is proposing a radical approach to how the game will be played.
President of the St. Kitts Cricket Association, Mr Auckland Hector, has announced the creation of four leagues; the Premier League, First Division, Second Division, and Ladies T20. The Premier League will consist of four distinct groupings, namely Rural East, Rural West, Basseterre, and the Len Harris Cricket Academy.
The Premier League whose first two matches bowled off on Sunday February 17, and which will be officially opened on Saturday February 23 at Conaree has been fully sponsored by the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis. In appreciation to the generous gesture, the Premier League has been named the ‘Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis Premier Cricket League 2013’.
“I wish to express our profound thanks and appreciation to the Development Bank for this significant contribution towards the development of cricket through the St. Kitts Cricket Association,” said Mr Hector on Friday February 15, when he received the bank’s sponsorship cheque of $32,660 from Ms Danienne Brin, Executive Assistant to the General Manager.
“We look forward to continuing the relationship with the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis and I am sure that you will be satisfied when you recognise all that we intend to do, to make sure that the Development Bank is put in the forefront of this particular venture.”
Mr Hector, who was accompanied by the Secretary Mrs Carleen Delaney and Assistant Secretary Mr Robert Jeffers, recalled other instances when the Development Bank came to the association’s assistance, including a now fully paid short term loan to assist the association bring home players who were stranded in St. Maarten following inclement weather.
Representing the Development Bank were Ms Danienne Brin, Executive Assistant to the Bank’s General Manager Mr Lenworth Harris, and Mr David Fox, Manager, Loans Management Unit. The two bank officials hailed the St. Kitts Cricket Association for its sterling efforts in promoting cricket, especially among the youth.
“My hope is to see a local Kittitian player play for the West Indies,” commented Mr Hector. “We are the only island within the Leeward/Windward Islands that has not had a player on the (Senior) West Indies team, and it is my view that it is not as a result of the fact that we do not have the calibre of players, but we just have to make sure that they go on.”
He said all was not lost as he had eyes on Mr Akheam Fox, the son of Development Bank’s David Fox, who is playing cricket in England while studying there, and Mr Akeem Saunders from Sandy Point who has played for the West Indies Under 17 and 19 and who has been nominated to attend the High Performance Centre in Barbados.
Thanking the Development Bank for its contribution, Assistant Secretary Mr Robert Jeffers said that under Mr Hector’s presidency, the association had restructured the way cricket is played in St. Kitts.
He noted that the premier league will be made up of the best players in St. Kitts, and from this nucleus it is hoped that the association could select a national team to represent St. Kitts in the Leeward Islands Tournament.
“We will also be looking for players from the other divisions,” observed Mr Jeffers. “We thought by putting this structure in place it will give us a better opportunity to look at our best players in that league.”
The association’s Secretary, Mrs Carleen Delaney, who is a cricket player, said that the association is now trying to embody female cricket in St. Kitts, given the fact that there are no Kittitians or Nevisians on the West Indies team. She observed that St. Kitts has three female cricket teams, namely the Nurses United, Defence Force and Buckley’s.
“We have been playing softball all these years,” said Mrs Delaney. “Now what we have done is to tape the ball to make it a little harder to feel somewhat like the hardball itself and then we would eventually go over into the hardball side of it. We are now hoping to see where we can field the females into the cricket and move on to hardball.”
President Auckland Hector promised that since the St. Kitts Cricket Association is going to get involved in the development of female cricket in St. Kitts, it will attach coaches to the teams “so that we can have them develop, understanding what the game is all about.”