Charlestown, Nevis, August 5, 2020 (DBSKN) — Cricket-playing youths on the island of St. Kitts have been benefitting from training offered by retired Senior West Indies Cricket Team player, Mr Keeth Arthurton, originally from the island of Nevis but who on retiring from competitive cricket settled in St. Kitts where he opened a cricket academy.
On Tuesday August 4 at the top (the Hill) of the Elquemedo T. Willett Park in Charlestown, Mr Keeth Arthurton in partnership with the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis saw the commissioning of what is being described as a new chapter that will give the island of Nevis its fair share of cricket training offered by the Nevisian.
“Working with Mr Keeth Arthurton and the St. Kitts Cricket Association, the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis has supported many training openings on the island of St. Kitts where we have seen a number of players graduate to play at the regional level,” said Manager of the Nevis Branch of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, Ms Hyacinth Pemberton.
The Development Bank official was delivering brief remarks at the official opening and naming ceremony of the Cricket Practice Facility, at the Elquemedo T. Willett Park, in honour of a former cricketing great from Nevis, Mr Livingstone Sargeant. The ceremony was organised by the Ministry of Sports in the Nevis Island Administration.
“Here on Nevis we have worked with the Nevis Cricket Association to ensure that Nevis gets its fair share of the training offered to our youth,” said Ms Pemberton. “With the opening of this cricket practice facility today, Nevis will be getting its rightful share of the Keeth Arthurton special training which has hitherto been enjoyed by budding cricketers on St. Kitts.”
Present at the ceremony, which was chaired by the Director of the Department of Sports in the Nevis Island Administration Mr Jamir Claxton, included the Premier of Nevis the Hon Mark Brantley, the Minister Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration, the Hon Eric Evelyn who gave feature remarks, Nevis-based Director of the Development Bank, Mr Stephen Jones, and Development Bank’s Marketing Officer Ms Vernitha Evelyn.
Others present included Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development Mr Keith Glasgow, President of the Nevis Cricket Association Mr Carlisle Powell, the wife and son of Mr Livingstone Sargeant, Mrs Mildred Sargeant and Mr Tavo Sargeant, and representatives from organisations that would have contributed towards the setting up of the Cricket Practice Facility.
“At the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis we believe in our youth and the reason why the bank, which is wholly owned by the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, is the leader in student loans because opening the doors for the future prosperity of our youth is our articulated mandate,” observed Ms Pemberton.
She added: “The Board and Management of the Development Bank are satisfied that Nevis is getting its fair share, and we hope that it is only a matter of time before the island pushes on another player to wear the West Indies colours because we are confident that our boys and girls are up to the standard that is required to wear the colours. If Nevis’ cricket is going to be back where it used to be, there is not a better person than Mr Keeth Arthurton to do the job. He knows what it takes to be a great cricketer because he is one. Having offered to transfer skills to the youth in Nevis, he should be applauded and given all the support he needs.”
Mr Keeth Arthurton, who was the third of the seven Nevisians who played on the Senior West Indies Cricket Team, had in 2018 approached the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis for sponsorship to set up a cricket training facility at the Elquemedo T. Willett Park in Charlestown and his request was met with favour.
“The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, and its Chief Executive Officer Mr Lenworth Harris in particular have always been willing to contribute to the development of cricket,” said Mr Arthurton at the opening and naming ceremony on Tuesday August 4. “I remember going to him and he asked me about what needs to get done. He is one of those people in positions who are very passionate towards sports in particular cricket. He is like that – he loves cricket. He always wants to bat for these youngsters.”
According to Mr Arthurton, the CEO of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis Mr Lenworth Harris who played cricket for St. Kitts had told him that developing cricket in St. Kitts, and not in Nevis, will defeat the purpose because Nevis has players who are very good and even better. The youth in Nevis, he noted, needed young players they can look up to like a role model.