This new style of cricket – first introduced in England and Wales in 2003 by the cricket board – was called Twenty/20 or T/20. It was deemed the “savior” of cricket given the diminishing public support and sponsorship that was crippling the sport. T/20 matches are played for 20 overs and the two competing teams have a single innings each. This concept has been touted as an exciting boost for the long-standing international sport.
Once the Twenty/20 cricket format made its debut, a more athletic and explosive style of cricket was introduced and the longer version of the game, usually seen in test match series, has fast become a thing of the past.
With a wealth of sporting talent spread across the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, it was only a matter of time before Twenty/20 cricket would find a home in the sports crazed Independent nation. Add to the fast pace cricket game “whining” topless and handsome young men, fiery groups of men and women beating iron pans, established and blossoming DJ’s spinning thumping tunes, and all you can eat, drink and imagine VIP stands, Twenty/20 has become the ultimate sporting fete for lovers of sports, as well as lovers of a good old lime. The 2014 CPL Twenty/20 series that graced the shores of our federation has been a great tool for marketing our beautiful federation.
Indeed, Twenty/20 cricket will leave its mark on the federation as one of the most entertaining and exciting sporting events staged in Warner Park stadium in the heart of historic Basseterre.
When the Twenty/20 cricket and feting is done, the spotlight will return once again to the nation’s bearer of another Twenty/20 title, albeit far from explosive or exciting for all the right reasons. The now regarded illegitimate government’s reputation remains tarnished at best and regardless of its leader’s dynamic grandstanding, evidence of the government’s blatant failures abound.
During a recent radio talk show, former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Douglas Wattley raised just ten convincing points that demonstrate the failings of the current Labour administration. They include:
1. Fiscal Malpractice
2. Excessively high level of poverty
3. Unreasonable high cost of living
4. High Prevalence of Crime
5. Severe Corruption by top Officials
6. Poor Governance practice (No Accountability or transparency)
7. An exceedingly dysfunctional Civil Service
8. Extremely poor quality in essential services (Specifically Health)
9. Corrupt Electoral System
10. Wanton selling off of national assets (Land and Passports)
Each point raised by Mr. Wattley bears relevance to the performance of this administration and in light of the now twenty month long delay of the tabling of the MONC or the calling of general elections, it seems the government also has reservations about its ability to “fairly” command the majority of the electorate for a fifth term.
Interestingly, after almost 20 years in government, it seems many view this current Denzil Douglas led Labour administration as akin to the dwindling test match style of cricket of years gone by.
After almost 20 years, the self-proclaimed popular and well-loved leader and his government has cut every last corner to avoid a motion of no confidence for 20 months without regard for the constitution, a judge’s ruling or parliamentary goodwill. Meanwhile, a cast of party hacks smile innocently amidst the wrong that they themselves vowed never to support.
“Bun dem out” “Mek dem wait.” This seems to be the strategy of the great minds that purport to have the best interest of the federation at heart. Delay the election and subsequently the opposition’s momentum, deny the alternative tri-party an opportunity to restore good governance to Church Street and dish out attractive deals that may somehow woo the already drained electorate.
The wounded nation’s plea continues to fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the blind greed of those who lead, the very leaders who vowed to introduce a more transparent and accountable form of governance, continues to wreak real havoc on the masses.
In the coming months, the electorate in St. Kitts and Nevis will inevitably go to the polls to “grade” the performance of the current administration who may have been strategic in bringing the cricket excitement to the federation but cannot by any stretch of the imagination evade their Twenty/20 shortcomings.