August 10, 2007
For Immediate Publice Release
Premier of Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry commended Antigua-based Texas billionaire Mr. Allan Stanford, for his contribution to sports in Nevis and his undertaking to put West Indies cricket back on its feet, he regarded Mr. Stanford’s latest project as a great opportunity for Nevis and its cricketing prowess.
Mr. Parry’s commendation came on August 03, 2007, following a visit from West Indies cricket legends Mr. Richie Richardson and Sir Vivian Richards at his office at Bath Plain to announce a new initiative the Stanford 20/20 Professional Cricket Programme, which would train budding cricketers in six Caribbean islands, including Nevis, to become professional players.
“Once we have the players who have the capacity, will, discipline and determination we can do it. So we will be very mush involved in this whole exercise. I do think Mr. Stanford is doing a great job for the Caribbean down the road I expect he will make some money but he would have helped to put West Indies cricket back on its feet and that is what we all hope for,” he said.
The Premier explained that the Legends indicated their interest for Nevis to be involved in the project because they saw mush hope and prospect in Nevis cricket. He said the Nevis Island Administration intended to throw 100 percent support behind the project and to work closely with the Nevis Cricket Association.“What I have been told is that Stanford is sponsoring six professional teams and Nevis is one of them and I am very pleased to know that Nevis is included.
“We intend to work very closely with the Nevis Cricket Association to make this happen and to ensure that our players are fully developed and that they are competitive and that we are so competitive that they can compete with any other team in the Caribbean not just with Antigua, St. Kitts or Montserrat but Jamaica or Barbados or any other team,” he said.
Meantime, Mr. Richards who is the 20/20 Legend assigned to Nevis, explained that the programme would professionalise cricket throughout the Caribbean and all the islands which took part in the Stanford 20/20 Tournament in Antigua in 2006, would have a professional cricket team within the next three years.
He noted that a pilot programme had commenced in Antigua on July 01, 2007 and would commence in Nevis, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, US Virgin Islands, Montserrat and St. Lucia by November 01, 2007.
“A coach, a manager and a trainer would be employed along with 17players. These 17 players would be paid handsomely to play cricket and to train. We will look after them, we will help them to manage their money, they will be well guided looked after when we are finished with them, they will be well tuned,” he said.
According to Mr. Richards, the players would be available to play for Nevis in the Leeward Islands Tournament, for the Leeward Islands and the West Indies.
“We are not here to take over, we are not here to fight against the West Indies Cricket Board we are here to work with [them], we are here to work with the Leeward Islands Board and the Nevis Cricket Association with all one goal – to restore West Indies cricket.
“We believe that once we get the support from the various associations and the general public we can put a programme together which would bring the glory days back to West Indies cricket,” he said.
With regard to the special interest in Nevis cricketers, Mr. Richardson stated that he was pleased and proud to announce, that the cricket Legends who had witnessed the Nevis teams’ performance at the Stanford 20/20 Tournament were impressed, hence the reason why they voted for Nevis to be one of the first countries to become professional.
“There is a lot of talent, over the years Nevis has produced some great cricketers some really talented players and we want to try and do something as quickly as possible to make sure that the talent Nevis continues to produce comes to the fore in West Indies cricket,” he said.
The Legends were accompanied by President of the Nevis Cricket Association Mr. Oscar Walters. Also present at the meeting were Minister of Sports Hon. Hensley Daniel, Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Ministry Mr. Joseph Wiltshire and Cabinet Secretary Mr. Ashley Farrell.