The Bank Street Cricket Fest held Friday afternoon was deemed a success by the organizers, as St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots fans and players had a chance to mingle and play a fun 1/1 cricket match on a makeshift pitch on Bank Street in the heart of downtown Basseterre.
The event was a collaboration between the St. Kitts Music Festival and the Caribbean Premier League St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, with the of aim of promoting the events and selling merchandise. The public was also introduced to the team’s coaching staff and the team mascot, which was unveiled for the first time this week.
Fans had a chance also to meet some of the players of the Patriots who are already on island including Nevisian Kieran Powell, Sheldon Cottrell, Lendl Simmons, Under-19 sensation Azari Joseph, Devon Thomas and others. The rest of the team arrives on Monday, as some are on international duty.
There were four teams of four players, including two women cricket fans teamed up with two of the players. Each team played one-over innings of six balls. Players were not allowed to hit sixes, as that was an automatic out. Bowlers bowled the ball underhand, and failure to do that resulted in a no-ball and an automatic four runs to the batting team.
The ball was not the traditional cricket ball, but was coloured and made of rubber. The bats and wickets were made of plastic. The format was a ‘knock-out’ round, where two teams from four advanced to the finals.
Devon Thomas, Kieran Powell and Sheldon Cottrell were among the Patriots who participated in this friendly encounter. After an entertaining and exciting encounter among the teams, it was Devon Thomas’ team that emerged winner, but it was Kerisse Hanley, a female player for one of the teams that excited the crowd and voted unanimous Most Valuable Player.
In one instance while making a run, she dived unto the pitch to complete the running to avoid running on the last ball of the play and forced a 10-run tie for her team in the finals. That meant the game had to be an extra inning of two balls per over bowled by a female and Patriots player of each team.
It was another athletic play by Hanley that helped her team to win when she dived to catch a ball and throw it to her teammate Joseph to execute a run out.
Kieran Powell trying a hit a ball on the last play of the match was bowled much to the delight of the audience; ending the day’s encounter. MVP Hanley said after the match she was excited to play. “It’s a great tournament because this is the first time I ever played cricket,” she said, adding that she was invited by her friend to register for the competition. There is a reason for her athleticism though. While this was the first time she is playing cricket, she plays football. The match was broadcast live on ZIZ Radio.
The turnout was “decent,” according to Noah Mills, Sponsor Rights Management Coordinator of the SKN Patriots CPL. In the end, Mills is of the view that the event was successful and achieved its aim in promoting the CPL and selling merchandise.
He commented, “It brought a decent crowd… It created a little bit of excitement. Spectators had an opportunity to win tickets, to win apparel from CPL and SKN Patriots, and I think they are now looking forward to it. It also gave the average person an opportunity to see Patriots team members, interact with them, take pictures, and it’s not very often that the average person gets to see these powerful players.”
On Saturday, 25th June, Nevis gets involved when the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots engages a Premiers XI in a practice match in Charlestown.