Thousands of school children enjoying CT20 action for free

North Sound, Antigua – Close to 8,000 schoolchildren from across the island of Antigua have been given the golden opportunity to see all the matches in the ongoing Caribbean T20 tournament for free.

In a joint venture between the West Indies Cricket Board and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, schools which participate in the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket have been given the chance to see the ten teams in action in the 12 matches being played this week at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

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Nelecia Yeates, the WICB’s Commercial Manager said the initiative was geared towards "encouraging and helping the future cricketers and cricket lovers" to see the game first hand.

She added: "We have a responsibility to ‘grow the game’ and to expose as many young people as we can to cricket whenever and wherever possible with the Caribbean T20 being played in Antigua we are pleased to host these children so they can be part this event being hosted by the WICB."

K.J. Singh, the WICB’s Project Officer with responsibility for the Kiddy Cricket Programme said the WICB was pleased to partner with the government on this initiative.

"We are all very happy at the WICB about this initiative which enables us to give primary school children the opportunity to see cricket being played at the regional level," Singh said.

"The Caribbean T20 tournament is the WICB’s flagship tournament and hopefully children will take away many memorable moments which we hope will move them towards playing and developing a love for the game of cricket."

As part of the outreach to children the WICB has also set-up a "Kids Fun Zone" at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground which includes face painting, bouncy castles, cricket games and refreshments for the six days of cricket.

The Honourable Minister Dr Jacqui Quinn-Leandro, The Minister of Education in Antigua and Barbuda, said she was pleased that the WICB continues to expose children to international and regional cricket at an early age.

"We are proud to be a part of this initiative which allows children to see their regional heroes in action, which we hope will inspire some future stars in the great game of cricket," she said.

The Caribbean T20 "Where Stars Are Born" started on Monday, January 9 and will end on Sunday, January 22. The first phase is being played at the picturesque Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and started Monday and will run until Saturday. The second phase will be at the historic Kensington Oval in Barbados from Tuesday, January 17 to Sunday, January 22.

This is the third edition of the tournament and has attracted 10 teams.

Group A includes: defending champs Trinidad & Tobago, 2010 champs Guyana, Windward Islands, Leeward Islands and Canada. Group B is made up of Jamaica, Barbados, Combined Campuses & Colleges, Sussex, the Netherlands.