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Elgin points the way forward for St. Maarten
The future of cricket in St. Maarten is bright so says president of the St. Maarten Cricket Association, Dwayne Elgin.
The businessman who has taken cricket on the Island to massive strides in recent times said he was looking to take cricket to the position where more and more cricketers came come out of his jurisdiction and not only play for the Leeward Islands but West Indies.
At the moment the most celebrated cricketer coming from St. Maarten is the former West Indies under-19 player Keacy Carty who was the man of the match in the finals of the ICC Under-19 World Cup back in 2016 when the West Indies lifted the title over India.
Elgin said: “The country is still in recovery mode over the hurricane that struck us down couple years ago. We have been fighting to develop the sport and I must say that we have gained some ground in that regard. We have a very vibrant domestic cricket programme and we are in the process of making that even better as we speak. “We have been looking at development programmes for the young cricketers on the Island because there is where the future lies. There is tremendous talent amongst the youths here and although cricket is not the main sport on the Island, we have great participation amongst the people.”
The Dutch country still holds dear to the sport of baseball and as a matter of fact, they have two baseball stadia and no official cricket stadium.
Cricket in the country is played at the Carib Lumber Ball Park just outside the capital of Phillipsburg. This is privately owned and the owners of the land are currently seeking a buyer with an asking price of US$7.1M.
The hard-working Elgin has hosting meetings with the relevant people in an effort to find a home for the sport. “We have held discussions with the government and there is a promise to get a piece of land to construct a cricket field. We are actively seeking this arrangement between the cricket association and the government. Once we have a place to call home, then we can bring so many other things on stream. In the interim, we are working with what we have and trying to make the best out of it.”
Just recently St. Maarten Cricket Association hosted the Nagico Cup Tri-nations Cup involving St. Maarten, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands at the Carib Lumber Ball Park. The Windwards defeated St. Maarten in the finals to cop the crown. Elgin rated the tournament as a success: “We held this tournament because of the fact that the Leeward Islands tournament did not come off. We had the Leewards and Windwards come across to play in the tournament and all went very well. We intend to keep tournaments like these here so that the young ones can be inspired by seeing their heroes in the flesh and blood.”
Elgin says that there is still a lot to be done but he has the appetite for the work and the future looks bright for cricket on the Island.