Former Minister of Sports, Jonel Powell, has raised a scathing critique of the current Minister of Sport, Hon. Samal Duggins, and the Labour government, accusing them of squandering St. Kitts and Nevis’ chance to host the prestigious 2024 ICC Cricket World Cup. Powell contends that this decision not only dashes the hopes of cricket enthusiasts but also deprives the nation of a substantial economic windfall.
Duggins’ explanation for the failure to bid on the event, despite multiple deadline extensions, has been met with incredulity by Powell. The former minister points to a legacy of successful hosting endeavors, including the CPL tournament in 2021 and the U19 Cricket World Cup in 2022, achieved under his leadership. These accomplishments, achieved amidst challenging timelines, stand as a testament to Powell’s proficiency in organizing world-class cricket events.
Powell questions the purported state of neglect in which the facilities were left, given the previous government’s demonstrated ability to prepare and upgrade venues swiftly and effectively. He posits that the lack of action over the past year, while global cricket enthusiasts were eagerly anticipating the World Cup, smacks of governmental neglect.
The economic impact of the CPL alone in 2021 exceeded EC$20 million, with a significant portion directly benefiting the local populace. Powell emphasizes that this revenue, derived from various services including catering, transportation, security, and more, constituted a vital injection into the pockets of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Regrettably, the opportunity to replicate this success with the Cricket World Cup has been forfeited due to the current administration’s inaction. Powell concludes with a damning indictment, asserting that the Minister of Sport and the government at large have once again let down the citizens of the Federation.
As the cricketing world watches, St. Kitts and Nevis must now reckon with the consequences of this missed opportunity, while the legacy of successful sporting events orchestrated by Jonel Powell remains a stark reminder of what might have been.