Simultaneous opening ceremonies in Anguilla and St.Maarten, officially signaled the start of the 2015 edition of the Leeward Islands Masters Cricket tournament.
St.Maarten is the host for the tournament but due to the current logistics, some of the games will be played in Anguilla. As a matter of fact, Zone one in St.Maarten will feature defending champion Nevis; St.Kitts; St.Thomas and host St.Maarten, while zone two in Anguilla will feature Antigua; St.Croix and Anguilla.
The ceremony in St.Maarten was held at the BUTE hotel and was chaired by the energetic Keith Carty.
After an opening prayer and welcome remarks a representative from each team was asked to address the sizeable gathering. Franklyn KUT Daniel represented the champion team and was very outspoken in declaring that his team (NEVIS) had only brought the trophy to St.Maarten for the other teams to have a look at it but it was his intention to take it back to the Nevis Sports Museum at the end of the tournament. He even suggested to Leeward Islands Masters Cricket Association chief, Alkins Rogers, that the trophy be handed to Nevis fulltime after the expected three peat this year and a new trophy be put up for grabs.
All of the other representatives from St.Thomas, St.Kitts and St.Maarten all expressed their desire to hold on to the trophy this year.
President Rogers in his remarks was warm in his praise for the hard working St.Maarten committee for ensuring that the opening ceremony and the entire tournament are run smoothly.
He also indicated that it was the intention of his association to hand over the present trophy to a team but which team is yet to be decided as he indicated that Antigua could also lay claims to it as the team that has won it the most.
A moment’s silence was also observed in honour of the late Alfred Hendrickson of the St.Kitts cricket team. Fond mention was also made of the contributions of past stalwarts from the Nevis team in Egbert Halliday and Carlisle Hobson.
At the conclusion of the opening ceremony , the players from the various territories, mixed and mingled over finger foods and drinks, while being entertained by the sounds of WILFUL SKILFUL Sounds system, ably manned by Dango Farrell.
The first match will bowl off at the Caribe Lumbar Ball Park at 10 am today Friday 22nd May when battle lines will be well and truly drawn as Nevis takes on arch rivals St.Kitts. Then at 2 pm at the same venue, St.Thomas will take on St.Maarten.
The action will also commence at the same time in Anguilla where Antigua will battle against St.Croix at 10 am and then Anguilla will engage Antigua at 2 pm.