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By Neto Baptiste

Political hopeful for the Rural West constituency, Anderson Carty, has hit back at critics who have publicly castigated him over a decision to have a community cricket team carry his name as title sponsor.

A recent story carried by Observer media highlighting a decision by the Empire Nation cricket team to adopt the name of the aspiring MP, ignited debate over the morality of the action, but Carty, who said he has spent more than EC$5000 to date, sees nothing wrong with the move and that others are simply bitter. 

“I think we need to raise the level of the discourse, and I think what is happening is that people are having personal hurt because there has not been sufficient recognition for the hard work that certain stalwarts of the cricket club have put in, and so when you have the [my] name attached to Empire when persons know that they have made far more valuable contributions to the organisation than the sponsor, it hurts their ego and that’s really what we are dealing with. In fact, my sponsorship of the Gray’s Green Community Football League has also come under attack,” he said.

Carty, who is also sponsor of the Gray’s Green Community Football League and has spearheaded other similar projects in the community, urged those individuals critical of the decision to focus on the bigger picture.

“Let us consider the primary objective, and the primary objective is to find a way to harness the talent of young persons within the community and particular within the Gray’s Green and Five Islands community, so that their talents could be exploited, so that they are exposed to opportunities for upward mobility in the sport and exposure at the highest level, which is the West Indies cricket team,” he said.

“We talk about loving our team and we are proud of our team and many people refuse to step forward, and these people who are very critical, they had an opportunity to sponsor the team even if they didn’t want their name on it, because they knew Empire was without a sponsor,” he added. 

Last week, coach of the Empire team, Ian Tittle, supported the move, stating that the team was in need of sponsorship and had approached several individuals and businesses in and around the community, with no luck.

Carty admitted that one of the conditions of the agreement is that his name must be listed as the major sponsor.

“My primary motive is always to be there for my community teams and individuals within my community and wherever I can be of service and of course, when I was approached by the team and given what I am seeking to do and we all know the art of politics is to be known, and to be known to be doing things that could enhance the lives of the people within the constituency. Indeed, I did say to coach Tittle, and I don’t think he was expecting otherwise, that a part of the barter would be [that my name would be] attached to our community team,” he said. The Anderson Carty Empire team has advanced to the semifinals of the State Insurance Corporation Super 40 Competition being hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA).