CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has partnered with several corporate entities in the construction of a new cricket practice facility, which has been named in honour of former Leeward Islands top order batsman Nevisian Livingstone Sargeant.
The facility, located at one end of the Elquemedo T. Willett Park in Charlestown, was commissioned on August 4.
Offering remarks at the ceremony, Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Sports, Youth and Community Development in the NIA, commended former West Indies cricketer Nevisian Keith Arthurton for spearheading the venture.
He also thanked the business entities that helped to fund the project.
“I would like to thank our very own Keith Arthurton for conceiving and conceptualising the idea,” said Hon. Evelyn. “He is truly passionate about the game of cricket, and he is one of those persons who always tries to give back to the island and the people of Nevis. This is a first class facility. Mr. Arthurton has been there through thick and thin to make sure we have a facility of this nature, and I know that it will get results.
“What we are seeing here today is the result of excellent partnership and collaboration and I encourage our corporate citizens to continue to support the sport of cricket as the island is filled with good raw talent that must be exploited,” he said.
Minister Evelyn admonished all who would benefit and use the facility to take full advantage of it and to take care of it, highlighting that a lot of work, money, and effort would have gone into making the facility a reality.
Project Manager Keith Arthurton said the facility is a great achievement intended for the development of cricket on the island. It consists of three practice nets, professional grade surface and a mini pavilion with adjoining seating.
“Nevis has produced seven international cricketers over the years, many of whom mastered the game from playing cricket in the streets,” said Arthurton. “With this professional training facility, there is no reason Nevis cannot continue to produce great cricketers.
“This facility is designed in a way for developmental purposes. Here in Nevis we are naturally gifted when it comes to the sport. For some reason the preparation is still that old, traditional way of coming in and knocking, or bowling, or fielding a few balls.
“We have to move to the more professional approach. Once we get to that stage, with the talent that we see around, there won’t be any doubt that we’ll be producing more cricketers,” he said.
Livingstone Sargeant, widely regarded as one of the best Nevisian batsmen who possessed great concentration, grit and determination, was first selected to play for the Nevis national team at the age of 15 years. Over his career he scored many centuries, and even a double century.
He was unable to attend the ceremony and one of his sons, Tavo Sargeant read brief comments on his behalf, expressing his honour at the distinction of having the facility named after him. Mr. Sargeant encouraged youths in particular, to utilise the facility.
“A facility such as this is very vital if young cricketers are to improve their game. In my days I was not so fortunate to have anything close to this. You now have a real facility and I hope you make good use of it.”