BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS — An official of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, while commenting on the recent positive growth in the field of cricket and the many opportunities it is offering, is calling on the country’s youth to step up to the plate and take up the lucrative opportunities on offer.
“Cricket is still Caribbean’s game of choice even as attention has been diverted by other games,” said Ms Danienne Brin, Development Bank’s Manager for Human Resources, Marketing and Product Development. “With the recent introduction of a cricket franchise for the Leeward Islands, which is to be based in St. Kitts, our youth have no reason to keep away from the game.”
Ms Brin made the remarks last week when the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis presented a sponsorship cheque of $10,000 to the St. Kitts Cricket Association for the development of cricket on the island of St. Kitts. Similar presentations have been done for the development of the game on the island of Nevis as well.
“The Development Bank’s association with the game of cricket goes way back and as an institution that is charged with the overall and wholesome development of the Federation, we feel that cricket provides a rewarding avenue for our youth to develop individually and collectively,” pointed out Ms Brin.
“We are pleased to partner with the St. Kitts Cricket Association as it rolls out its plans for the game in 2015 and it is our hope that if our young people come forward and take advantage of these opportunities, St. Kitts should place its first player on the West Indies team soon and join the island of Nevis that has led the way in the Leeward Islands.”
At a ceremony that was held at the office of the Development Bank on Church Street in Basseterre, the sponsorship cheque was presented by Support Officer for Marketing, Mrs Vernitha Maynard, to three officials of the St. Kitts Cricket Association, President Mr Stanley Franks, Secretary Mrs Carleen Delaney, and Treasurer Mr Sam Franks.
“We have enjoyed the support of the Development Bank over the years,” said President Mr Stanley Franks. “I think since the inception of the bank, we have always called on the bank for support for cricket especially in the area of youth cricket.
“This assistance this year is crucial when one understands what is happening to cricket on the world scene, and in particular the Caribbean cricket. We have to ensure that our young people now move forward to take the space that seemingly will be created by outgoing cricketers.”
He however lamented the decline of participation by cricketers from St. Kitts who previously used to dominate the regional cricket scene as many of them played for the Leeward Islands, which is not so presently. With the help from sponsors, among them the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, the association hopes to rejuvenate the game.
Thanking the Development Bank for being the first sponsor to respond, the President of the association revealed that they have a full programme that they have put on paper and are looking specifically at getting all the leagues going, which include the Premier Division.
“Our aspirations are really to get someone on to the West Indies Cricket Team,” commented Mr Franks. “We have tried in the past, we have been on the doors, we actually reached up in the windows, but we were not looking out we were looking in, and we are quite certain we have the talent.”
Development of women cricket is another area the St. Kitts Cricket Association wishes to address in the coming season. Secretary Mrs Carleen Delaney, who is herself a cricket player, explained that it is proving hard to recruit younger players and are now looking forward to making the push as there was a great interest when the West Indies Women cricket team played at Warner Park.
Treasurer Mr Sam Franks observed that the association is trying to involve youngsters in cricket, but the findings are that cricketers in St. Kitts are developing late in life, and hence the reason the association wants to expose them at a young age competitively, both locally and internationally, and was appreciative that the Development Bank was helping.
“The fact that we have a professional league in the Caribbean, as each of the six territories have a franchise where players are going to be paid, there are opportunities for employment in this sport at all levels, as cricketers also as administrators as well the umpires and match referees and so on,” explained Mr Sam Franks.
“The Leeward Islands have a franchise and we (St. Kitts, Nevis and Antigua) can feed into the Leeward Islands Cricket. The franchise will be based here in St. Kitts, so we have an advantage there, and so we want to be able to develop our youngsters to get the opportunity to take advantage of this particular development.”