GROS-ISLET, St Lucia -- Following the recently conclusion of the Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament, president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Dr Julian Hunte said interest and passion in regional cricket has been revived.
“There can be no doubt about the growing strength of West Indian cricket. The interest has been revived, the passion has resuscitated and we must capitalise on this, as we continue to build and strengthen West Indies cricket,” Hunte said.
He thanked the cricket loving public of St Lucia for their tremendous support of the Twenty20 Tournament.
“As president of the WICB I am delighted to have seen the overwhelming support for our regional cricketers and the teams as they battled for the Caribbean T20 trophy,” Hunte said. “As a citizen of St Lucia, I am proud to have seen the thousands of my countrymen and women who turned out in their larger numbers, especially on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.”
He added: “We regret that on the night of the Grand Final, so many persons turned up to the Beausejour Cricket Ground, but could not get in as tickets were sold out. The St Lucian people certainly stepped up to the plate in a big way, after we saw strong support in Trinidad for the first half of the tournament.”
Hunte also made special mention of the very large contingent of Trinidadians who travelled to St Lucia to support their team.
“Their energy and fervour certainly added to the flavour and atmosphere of the event, and we are heartened to see fans travelling in such large numbers to support their team,” he said. “Indeed I cannot recall, in all my years of being involved in West Indies cricket, having been witness to such large numbers of supporters travelling from their homeland to support their team in regional cricket.”
Hunte said: “On behalf of the WICB, I must also expressly commend the St Lucia National Cricket Association for their critical role in ensuring the event was a success and the Windward Islands Cricket Board of Control for their support of the tournament.
“It must be also noted that this year’s CT20 could not have been a success without the essential, willing and decisive support of the government of St Lucia, and specifically the ministries of Youth Development and Sports and Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries and the respective ministers, the Honourable Shawn Edwards and the Honourable Lorne Theophilus along with the St Lucia Tourist Board.”
This year’s CT20 was played in Trinidad and St Lucia, and concluded on Sunday evening with defending champions Trinidad and Tobago retaining the title when they defeated Guyana.
Seven regional teams participated in the marquee WICB regional event. Trinidad and Tobago have won the title on three of the four occasions it was played, while Guyana won the first edition in 2010.
Trinidad and Tobago will represent the West Indies in the Champions League to be played later this year.
Hunte said that following the conclusion of the final edition of the CT20, he was now looking forward to the Caribbean Premier League taking regional T20 cricket to another level.