By Neto Baptiste
Despite setbacks due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the principals of the proposed Four Knights Cricket Academy continue to work in the background as preparations proceed for the formalising of the school here in Antigua.
This is according to one of the four knights, and former West Indies captain, Sir Vivian Richards, who said that the ongoing pandemic has significantly hampered the progress of the initiative.
“The whole Covid stuff would have stopped us from doing a lot of things, but we are still in the pipeline with all the necessary things we can get done without being on the field. There are a lot of things that I know for sure, cannot be given any particular timeline at this stage, because no one can be certain of anything at this point so we’re taking that particular angle,” he said.
In October last year, the initiative received a major boost with news that the academy is set to be housed at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in partnership with Cricket West Indies (CWI).
There has however been little to no noticeable progress since then, but according to Sir Viv, there has been significant movement behind the scenes.
“When we speak of maybe the stuff in the background, we are speaking of the sponsors, the gear and all the necessary little things that you are going to need when we get back to normal. Richie [Sir Richie Richardson] has been away for some time now, and so when he come back we will all get together again, but everything I said in terms of in the background is basically in preparation mode at this particular stage for us to get the ball rolling when we get back to some sort of normalcy,” the iconic batsman said.
The other knighted former players, in Sir Richie Richardson, Sir Andy Robertsand Sir Curtly Ambrose have all expressed confidence in the concept, signaling that they are fully on board with the initiative.
The concept was first announced in 2014 by then sports minister, EP Chet Greene, but had suffered many setbacks. In 2020, Minister of Sports, Daryll Matthew, announced that the government and CWI would partner to ensure that the venture is a success.