President of the Tobago Cricket Association (TCA) Kerwin John says that the sport will never be the same again after the hosting of the first T20 franchise tournament on the island from July 24-31.
John, speaking to Guardian Media Sports, shared that over the past few years he and his executive has been building to get to this point and from here, there will be no turning back.
"We have worked very hard over the past few years to take Tobago cricket forward and I am very happy that we have reached a point where our cricket will be showcased for the world to see."
The Chief Secretary Bago T10 Blast was the idea of John and his executive and they approached the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Ancil Dennis to make it a reality.
"We are overjoyed by the fact that the Chief Secretary is going to make this happen for us. He, being a former cricketer, bought into the idea of us hosting this tournament because of the tremendous value it brings on and off the field.
"Firstly, our cricketers will get a chance to be seen all over the world, plying their trade. We have some very talented cricketers in Tobago but they need exposure. Some of our top cricketers go to Trinidad to better their game but all can't go. Here is an opportunity now for those cricket clubs even in Trinidad to see the talent and take our players into their fold for further development."
John himself a talented batsman played in Trinidad years ago for Central Sports and also Mayo Valley Boys.
"The second benefit we will have is to continue to sell the Island as a tourist destination. Cricket is a perfect tool to use to sell the country in terms of what we have on offer and here comes that opportunity now.
"Thirdly, this tournament will create some much-needed employment with all those losing out because of the Covid 19. So it is a win-win situation here and we hope that the tournament is here to stay.
"Another benefit if staging this tournament is allowing our youths in Tobago to see our best talent right in their backyards and hopefully this will serve as an attraction that will see them picking up the sport and giving us a bigger catchment area to choose cricketers from in the future.
The names of the four franchises are Fort King George Gunners, Buccoo Reef Divers, Rainforest Rangers, and Little Tobago Islanders. The winners will walk away with $20,000.
There will also be an All Star game prior to the final. The team selected for this game by Dennis includes the TKR stars Keiron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, and Darren Bravo, as well as West Indies player Nicolas Pooran.
Manohar calls on youths to grab opportunities
Former minister of Sport Manohar Ramsaran has called on young cricketers taking part in the Munroe Road Sports Club training camp to make full use of the opportunities afforded them.
Ramsaran, who is the president of the club, made the remarks at the opening of the club's annual cricket clinic for young cricketers on Wednesday.
"You guys are getting a unique opportunity to further your careers and develop your skills. You all are very talented cricketers and hence the club has taken a decision to assist you further by hosting this clinic.
"We at Munroe Road Cricket Club believes in the holistic development of the person and hence during this camp, you will be exposed to not only cricket coaching but also development off the field. We will have experts in many different fields coming here to chat with you guys.
"We want to make sure that when you leave this camp, you leave as not only a better cricketer but a better human being and citizen of T&T."
Bringing greetings from the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) was former Comptroller of Customs Ammar Samaroo who underlined the points made by Ramsaran and added that discipline must be an essential ingredient for the cricketers to be successful.
The club has restricted the number of students at the clinic this year to 22 because of the COVID-19 restrictions.