Patriots fans during a recent game at Warner Park Cricket Stadium.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — The St. Kitts-Nevis leg of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament wrapped up on Sept. 4 with a win for the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots over the Barbados Tridents at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium.

Sitting among the fans that packed the Warner Park Cricket Stadium for the final match was the Federation’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports, the Honourable Shawn Richards.

The Deputy Prime Minister said it was pleasing to see the high level of support that the team has gotten from local fans that closely followed the team’s progress during the tournament and who turned out in their numbers night after night to witness the five home games from Aug. 28 to Sept. 4. He added that CPL is important to the country given the many positive spinoffs that benefit various spheres of activity.

“The tournament has been an extremely important one for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” Richards said. “We have seen many benefits coming out of CP. Apart from bringing fans here to St. Kitts and Nevis, we have also had a number of fringe activities surrounding the games … You have vendors who being able to make money.

“I’ve seen persons selling t-shirts and even as you look around the field you would recognize a number of persons are wearing the CPL-branded shirts or other shirt displaying the colours of the St. Kitts and Nevis flag, so definitely I think it has been a good experience for all persons.”

The spirit of celebration and show of patriotism from residents and citizens are expected to carry over in the coming weeks as the nation draws closer to the 35th Anniversary of Independence on Sept. 19.

Deputy Prime Minister Richards said the T20 tournament serves as a prelude to the Independence event. Some of the notable upcoming activities for the national observance are Schools Visit by Cabinet Ministers on Sept. 10; Prime Minister’s Independence Lecture Series on Sept. 12, Independence State Service on Sept. 16, and Independence Day Parade on Sept. 19.

Meanwhile, fans are expected to keep a close eye on the team standings as the cricket tournament winds down. The Patriots are currently in first place but four other teams still have games to play. The knockout round begins on Sept. 11 in Guyana.

Last year’s CPLT20 tournament created an economic impact of more than US $95 million across six Caribbean countries and the United States according to a CPL release.