CRICKET lovers in St. Lucia are most certainly in for a treat at this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), according to the new owners of the St. Lucia Stars cricket team.
Manan “Zu” Pandya, Director of Public Relations for the team, spoke to The VOICE on Wednesday morning about the competition, which begins at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground in Beausejour.
The event will take place in St. Lucia over five days (between August 4 and 15) as St. Lucia Stars face the Trinidad Knightriders.
Pandya said his team has had incredible support throughout the entire process and is eager to get the ball rolling.
He said: “I feel blessed that we have found an incredible group of teammates and friends on the island who have been supporting us throughout this entire process who have guided us when we were figuring out the best way to target certain obstacles. Whether it’s logistically at the stadium, parking, printing — everything kind of came last-minute. So when things like that happen, you just have to weather the storm. So we’re blessed that we had a fantastic team and everything is in motion for a wonderful kick-off and, hopefully, bringing home the gold.”
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the tournament which, he said, is a reflection to the development of the sport of cricket in St. Lucia.
He expressed his elation at having three St. Lucians on the team and was hopeful that the trophy will be brought home for the first time.
The Minister said: “I think that there’s a certain vigour and I think (Daren) Sammy might be in the legacy phase of his career right now and may want to at least have lifted the cup in the Caribbean and as for his own country. I think it will be very special for him.”
Fedee urged St. Lucians to come out in large numbers to support the sport and, most importantly, the team.
Sue Monplaisir, who acts as Pandya’s right hand while he is on island, said St. Lucia is reputable for the unique show of support for cricket, which is married to partying and festivities atmosphere. For that, she said, no stone was left unturned to ensure that supporters get the premium experience while enjoying the sport.
Monplaisir said: “Other than good cricket, we are anticipating that we are going to win. So we are also going to have a good time in the process.”
She said the team, particularly the St. Lucians Kenny Lesporis, Johnson Charles and Darren Sammy, are looking forward to the events, especially the homely support that they have grown accustomed to.
Monplaisir said: “We have this theme, you know, we have a chant, our own way of dealing with that cricket excitement. You don’t get that in any of the other islands; it’s just here in St. Lucia and the guys love it. The cricketers love it, so we can expect to see a really good four days of good cricket and a good time.”
Fans, she said, can also look forward to the promotions and giveaways that will be in abundance during the scheduled events.