“We in St. Kitts – Nevis have made history not only in terms of hosting World Cup but we are now actually in the record books as we had Gibbs from South Africa hitting six sixes in an over and that was done right here in Warner Park.”
Those were the sentiments of Oscar Walters, President of the Nevis Cricket Association in a brief interview with SKNVibes on the economic impact of ICC World Cup Cricket.
“I do not see an immediate impact on the economy in the sense that it is ongoing and I am not seeing the visitor turnout that I expected for the World Cup. As this is the first round of matches it is not a round where you see a lot of big teams and so forth performing. While I do not see a big impact in terms of the economy, I do see something happening later down the road as we are now on the world map,” he said.Walters continued by noting the long-term effects that can expected in the wake of ICC World Cup Cricket.
“In the long term I see it affecting our economy in that in the end persons will be aware that there are two little islands on the map called St. Kitts and Nevis. That in turn will help sports tourism in St. Kitts-Nevis as people will know that we are famous for cricket.”
“I do not see much of a negative effect because I hear persons saying that we have spent a lot of money and tax payers will have to pay that back. However, as a business person I must note that you have to experience something like that in order to go forward,” he said.
Walters who has been President of the Nevis Cricket Association (NCA) for the past two terms encouraged young people to strive for excellence and get involved in sporting activities such as cricket.
“I was motivated to take on the role of President of the NCA as I have an avid love for cricket. As a past cricketer I want to see the youngsters develop to the highest level. We have produced six West Indian players for a small island with a 12 000 population and I think that in itself is a great act for a small country like Nevis.”
“I would definitely encourage young people to get involved in activities such as cricket because it is a way to keep out of trouble. It is also a way to move upward in life in the sense that you have the opportunity to do something with yourself to become something. There is opportunity to not only be an ambassador for the island but there are also financial benefits as cricketers are highly paid and it is one of the more popular sports in the region. You get to see different islands and meet people to develop yourself socially in terms of meeting different persons of different cultures.”
In closing Walters encouraged young people to strive to be good ambassadors and keep focus and good sportsmanship.
“Strive to be good ambassadors. I realize that with the younger generation a lot of them have lost focus and sportsmanship. It is important to encourage good sportsmanship both on the field and off the field to encourage young people to move forward. Over the years I have realized that we tend to reward mediocrity instead of encouraging persons to be better. I just want to encourage youngsters to go out and put your all behind everything that they do. It is only in this way that you can become the best you can be.”