ST JOHN’S, Antigua- The inaugural Sir Vivian Richards Masters T20 Cricket Tournament is set to bowl off on November 4 at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds, and already a number of teams from England and across the region have confirmed their participation.
Karen Joseph for the Ministry of Tourism explained the tournament would be played at two venues with Pigotts Playing Field coming fully on board after receiving good reviews from previous visitors.
“Pigotts came into being after some masters (cricketers) had come to Antigua on an educational trip and they liked the atmosphere at Pigotts because sometimes when they finish playing they like to have a party atmosphere and so Pigotts made that available to them. So they are juggled between Pigotts and the stadium with most of the matches being at the stadium with the semi-finals and finals playing there,” she said.
“At this point, we have seven overseas teams and the Antigua Masters. This includes four from England which is Hertfordshire, Yorkshire, Wales and Shorpshire which are four English teams and then we have Tobago, who said they are coming to win the championship and we have St Croix and then we have Montserrat.”
The plan, according to Joseph, is to first place the tournament on firm footing as they hope to expand the range of teams taking part in the sports tourism initiative.
“Since it is the first year we are having it, we are trying to get it established because next year we are going to start marketing out of Australia and India and so forth,” she said.
“We have sent letters to them already, so by next year they should be onboard because we want to make it a big annual thing. It’s no middle class things. We are just trying to get it up to a certain class because as long as you carry Viv’s name, it’s something people would want to be part of. So we gave them time to plan for next year.”
Former West Indies captain and national hero, Sir Vivian Richards, revealed that he will be out of the country on official business for the first half of the tournament, but reaffirmed his confidence in the team working to ensure the endeavour is a successful one.
“I’ve got to be off as well to World Travel Market between the first or the second, but I have always been very much in support of this whole stuff. We are the ones who, at the time when we sat on that committee itself, have made some decisions and I am always every much supportive of Karen and ‘Baby’ and exactly what they are trying to achieve,” Richards said.
The eight teams confirmed thus far include Yorkshire, USVI, Shorpshire, Antigua Masters, Wales/Birkshire, Montserrat, Tobago and Hertfordshire.
The tournament is slated to end on November 11.