By Neto Baptiste
West Indies cricket legend and one of two living National Heroes here in Antigua, Sir Vivian Richards, has welcomed news of a return to competitive cricket.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Sir Viv said the announcement which was made by Cabinet last week, came at a time when Antiguans and Barbudans on a whole are searching for some form of stress release
“When you look and see what is happening to us — not just maybe here in Antigua and Barbuda but around the region and around the world — you have everyone going through the same thing and we have to find ways and means of occupying ourselves as best as we can,” he said.
“That helps to lower the level of stress and all the other stuff that comes with it because, apart from the sporting side of it, you would have families that are out of work because of this particular situation. Sports is such a huge thing where you can go out and exert some energy and that helps in a big way to nullify some of the pressures that I think we as Antiguans and Barbudans are going through at present,” he added.
The Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA), announced late last week that they will host a 10 overs competition in December as the body’s first tournament since a total lockdown of all sports back in March.
Sir Viv, who scored 8,540 runs in 121 Test matches at an average of 50.23, including 24 centuries, believes this could be the beginning of a total reopening of sports at a competitive level and congratulated head of the cricket association, Leon Rodney, for the efforts made to get cricket onto the field of play.
“Not just for cricket in itself but I think that maybe they should look at all angles of sports in this country. It’s been quite a long time now since we have been on lockdown and people who are professionals in whatever sport they may be participating in are getting frustrating and I guess the president of the cricket association, Kuma Rodney, would have put things in place in order for things to happen and for the folks who can give the ok for them to have a look at and so see whether it would be reasonable enough for them to go forward and if that’s the case I think that is a plus on the cricket association’s behalf,” he said. Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, has encouraged other associations to submit their proposals to the ministry as Cabinet could move towards allowing other disciplines to make competitive returns.