The St Lucia National Cricket Association (SLNNCA) in conjunction in collaboration with the Windward Island Cricket Board and Winlott Inc, is presently hosting the third consecutive T20 Tournament at the Beausejour Cricket Ground.
Play got underway on Thursday afternoon with St Vincent defeating Dominica. St Vincent scored 141 while Grenada could only register 84 for nine from their 20 overs.
In the second match played under the lights and interrupted by rain, St Lucia lost to Dominica in 18 overs. Batting first the home side got to 106 for seven. Taking their turn at bat, Dominica registered 110 for nine with just three balls remaining.
Prior to the second match between St Lucia and Dominica St Vincent there was a brief opening ceremony.
Special guests in attendance included, Minister for Youth Development and Sports, Shawn Edward; President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Dr Julian Hunte; President of the SLNCA, Julian Charles; CEO of Windward Islands Cricket, Lennox John; and Police Commissioner, Vernon Francois.
Charles welcomed the teams (Dominica, St Vincent, Grenada and St Lucia) and paid tribute to officials and past players including Junior Murray (Grenada), Norbert Phillip (Dominica) and St Lucia’s own John Eugene.
He thanked the sponsor Winlott and said: “Without you we would not have been able to raise the finances to host this competition because in these hard times we know it is not easy to raise that kind of money but you have shown your love and commitment to sports and to cricket in particular.”
Chairman of Winlott, Murray Bullock, clarified an earlier remark by the MC and said Winlott did not step in to sponsor the competition but instead initiated. It was their idea.”
He went on to say: “The directors of Winlott realized there was a vital necessity to have Windward Islands cricketers playing more twenty20.”
In closing Bullock urged teams to play the game with zest energy and enthusiasm and respect the decision of officials. He said “Winlott is committed to this competition and applaud the SLNCA for jumping in readily and taking on the challenge of this year’s tournament.”
The next speaker Minister of Sports Shawn Edward is no stranger to the sport having managed the Windward’s Under-19 Cricket Team for six consecutive years.
Addressing the teams Edwards said: “You players rising to the senior level is a reflection of the investment the Windward’s Board has made in youth cricket and once that progression continues it won’t be long before we begin to dominate the slate as far as the playing 11 for the Windward Islands Team is concerned.”
He went to say: “The talent I have always said resides in the Windwards at the Under-15 and Under-19 level our players are comparable to their counterparts in the other territories. We’ve seen it but somewhere between the ages of 19-21 we do not take it to the next level.”
Edwards is counting on this tournament providing an avenue for players to come out and showcase their skills and said the first step is to ensure you are selected on the Windward’s team which will provide you with a platform to perform even better and go on to represent the West Indies.”
Play continues over the weekend with the Third Place Playoff taking place on Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm with final following from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.