By Peter Ngunjiri:
Charlestown, Nevis*, *May 18, 2018 (DBSKN)* — Mr Stephen Jones, a Nevis based director of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, has said that the Leeward Islands Masters Cricket plays an important role in the lives of the over-40 cricket players who would have already served as international, regional, national or just regular players.
“The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis recognises the unique role played by this tournament, as unlike the other sporting disciplines where players are discarded and put on the back burner after they would have burnt up their youthful sporting prowess while glorifying their various sporting disciplines, Masters gives opportunity to those over 40 to actively and competitively continue with the game of cricket,” said Mr Jones.
“There is cricketing life after 40, and the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis is proud to see people who would have been written off in other sporting disciplines coming together to prove that they are still capable of playing competitively.”
Mr Jones made the remarks on Thursday evening May 17 at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NEPAC) in Charlestown, during the opening ceremony of the 20th edition of the Leeward Islands Masters Cricket tournament which bowled off at three venues in Nevis on Friday morning May 18 and comes to an end on Sunday May 20.
Eight teams from six countries/territories are taking part in the competition that is being hosted by the Nevis Masters Cricket Association. Participating teams are St. Kitts, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Croix, British Virgin Islands, defending champions St. Thomas, and hosts Nevis.
“The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis has been supporting the two teams, from Nevis and from St. Kitts, taking part in this tournament as we feel that the tournament is playing a double positive role keeping our youth on their toes, while ensuring that our older players do not fall helplessly by the way side,” observed Mr Jones.
He told the gathering that also included Premier of Nevis, the Hon Mark Brantley, and Minister of Sports in the Nevis Island Administration, the Hon Eric Evelyn, that the bank has been a major sponsor of cricket from the grassroots through to senior levels on both the two islands in the Federation, the island of Nevis and the island of St. Kitts.
“You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that our investment in this game now goes beyond these two beautiful islands, as it is now a premium sponsor of the Leeward Islands Women Cricket,” revealed Mr Jones. “Only yesterday (Wednesday May 16) a cheque of US$5,000 was presented to Mr Vernon Springer, Director of Cricket Operations of the Leeward Islands Cricket Board, as our sponsorship for the women’s team as it prepares to take part in the West Indies Women Cricket Championship to be held in Jamaica next month.”
In conclusion Mr Jones told the gathered players and officials: “As the Leeward Islands Masters Cricket tournament bowls off tomorrow (Friday May 18), we at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis are saying: May the best team win. We have your wicket covered.”
Giving remarks at the colourful opening ceremony included the Anguilla-based President of the Leeward Islands Masters Cricket Association Mr Alikin Rogers. He thanked sponsors including National Caribbean Insurance (NCI) of the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank group of companies, the St. Maarten-based Office World, and locally the Nevis Island Administration. He urged the players to strive to be an example to the youth by playing hard.