By Staff Writer
The local cricket franchise wrapped up a disappointing opening leg of the 2016 Caribbean Premier League, winning a single game and losing three. However, owner Uday Nayak is convinced the franchise can reach the finals.
Mr. Nayak obtained the franchise in 2015. He said he is encouraged that the tournament finals are returning to St. Kitts and Nevis for the second time and he hopes the team can be there for the matches.
Minister of Sports the Hon. Shown Richards and Chief Operations Officer for CPL Pete Russell at a recent press conference said the Federation will host the semi-finals and finals of the tournament in August.
They revealed that the federal government had bid US$1.2 million to host the matches. They said the Federation expects to see direct returns from the games through a percentage of the gate receipts.
‘I think it is very nice that the semi-finals and finals are coming here and I am confident we are going to be there and playing,’ he added. He said it is good for the game that it is played in the Federation and that it will help St. Kitts and Nevis develop.
In 2014, the Federation realized over $20 million in economic benefits when it hosted matches in the tournament. Last year, Warner Park hosted nine tournament matches and realized US$10 million in economic returns.
CPL organizers claim the tournament reached 50 million people last year.
Nayak said he and other members of the management team of the Patriots are planning to develop the base for the franchise in the Federation and that their plans are ‘very ambitious.’
‘We will do some training where we can get grassroots children into our team,’ he added. He said Chief Operations Officer and former West Indies Team Analyst Richard Berridge will be drafting a plan to improve the team and the market over the next two years. He refused to name an amount of how much of an investment he has made in the team when asked the question.
The Caribbean Premier League finals will be held Aug. 3-7 at Warner Park.