Minister of Sports, EP Chet Greene, said he is “bothered” over the slow to stagnant manner in which the planning of the touted Four Knights Cricket Academy has progressed.
Introduced following the 2014 general election, the initiative which was conceptualised using four of the country’s former international crickets, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts, Sir Richie Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose, has seen little to no movement over the last three years.
“It bothers me to the extent that I think it’s been too long in coming. It is a concept which really seeks and sets out to preserve the legacy of these four great gentlemen who have done this country proud over their international and national careers and if nothing else, we can give back to them by way of an institution to promote and preserve their legacy, especially in these times when cricket is an embattled and troubled sport,” he said.
Greene said a special committee had been tasked with getting the initiative off the ground, but it has not recently updated him on its progress. He said the major hold up, according to the last report he received, is the absence of a business plan that was commissioned some time ago.
“The last time I enquired of the officers in my ministry who are entrusted with the execution of that project, I was told that the hold-up has been the presentation and approval of a business plan. I will have to enquire as to anything new and you could appreciate that I do not micromanage. I do delegate these responsibilities and I get feedback,” he said.
The minister, however, promised to update the public with fresh information the moment it comes to hand.
“Let me be very clear to say that I take responsibility because as minister, the buck stops at my desk but I will, of course, ask those who have been entrusted with the responsibility to give me update so that, at least, I can report to the public because ultimately it’s about public service and whether it’s happening or not happening. I think, it’s only fair to tell the public what’s happening,” Greene said.
The academy, according to initial reports, would first cater for the top young talents here in Antigua before branching out to the region and then internationally.
The four knights are also expected to play a pivotal role in the success of the academy, lending their expertise and knowledge of the game.
A number of other initiatives to include a sports council and a sports and games department are also yet to materialise.