By Suelika N. Buchanan

Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, and Minister of Sports Denzil L. Douglas led his Cabinet ministers on a tour of the Warner Park facilities on Thursday. Warner Park is the venue in St. Kitts and Nevis for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007.

The tour was conducted by Valmiki Kempadoo, the managing director of Terra Forma Landscape Design & Construction LTD., the contractors who are in charge of the project. Ambassador of the Republic of China an Taiwan to St. Kitts and Nevis, John Liu, whose Government is a major financier of the re-development of Warner Park.

After the touring of the facilities, which covered the players pavilion, an outlook of the building for the media, ticket booth and the pavilion handing over ceremony was conducted.

The ROC Ambassador handed over a cheque of US$500,000 for their continued support in funding project, which was accepted by PM Douglas.

Liu said that he was happy to see that the work at the facility was progressing above schedule and congratulated St. Kitts and Nevis for winning the bid to host matches for the World Cup games next year.

Prime Minister Douglas thanked the government of ROC and Taiwan for their generous offer and assistance since they are the sponsors of the project.

“There is a saying that speaks about those that are in need and those who are willing to help those in need and Liu and his government has been very instrumental in assistance with this project,” he said. “And I want to thank him on behalf of my government for their kind and most generous support.”

The minister also commented that he was pleased with the way the work done at the facility was progressing and that the facilities can also be used as a multi-purpose facility.

Richard Skerritt, junior minister within the ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sports said that he sees the facility as a way to expose young people to the rigours of professional sports.

Also on the tour was the Chairman of Cricket World Cup St. Kitts and Nevis Limited, Queen’s Counsel, Charles Wilkin and Chief Executive Officer Horatio Versailles and representatives of the construction contractors.

The new Warner Park is expected to be completed in time for St. Kitts to host its first International One-Day Cricket match in May and the first Test Match in June.

St. Kitts and Nevis hosts Group A Matches involving Australia, South Africa, Scotland and The Netherlands for World Cup 2007.

The work on the Warner Park cricket test venue which will accommodate 10,000 seats is on schedule and the site has had frequent visits by officials from the Ministry of Sports, the Leewards Islands Cricket Board, the West Indies Cricket Board and the International Cricket Council.