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Tuesday 17 September 2019
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CPL matches in Tobago?

Charles promises full Shaw Park upgrade

Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, centre right, and Community Development Secretary Marslyn Melville-Jack, centre left, chat with Trinbago Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore, right, representatives from NLCB and other officials at a meet and greet session on Monday, at the Lowlands Multi-Purpose Facility.
Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, centre right, and Community Development Secretary Marslyn Melville-Jack, centre left, chat with Trinbago Knight Riders CEO Venky Mysore, right, representatives from NLCB and other officials at a meet and greet session on Monday, at the Lowlands Multi-Purpose Facility.

The Biggest Party in Sport could make its debut in Tobago, if Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles has his way.

The Trinbago Knight Riders on Monday made their inaugural visit to Tobago ahead of the start of their CPL 2019 campaign tonight against the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

The visit, sponsored by the National Lotteries Control Board and the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation, gave team members an opportunity to interact with cricketer lovers in Tobago. They are visited several of the island's tourist destinations, including Store Bay, Buccoo Reef and Pigeon Point Heritage Park, as part of the Division's Tobago Beyond Ordinary initiative.

The first stop on the team's agenda, though, was a meet and greet session at the Lowlands Multi-Purpose Facility with students.

Charles hopes they will be back next year but for some cricket action.

Trinbago Knight Riders interim captain Kieron Pollard autographs a mini-bat for a student of St Andrew's Anglican School on Monday.

In his address, Charles expressed hope that the Shaw Park cricket facility will be refurbished in time to host matches.

He said, "In my conversations with the CEO of the Trinbago Knight Riders (Venky Mysore), I did assure him that in the not-too-distant future, because we have begun the upgrade of our Shaw Park Cricket Facility, we will be enhancing the spectator facilities; so that I challenge you that next year when you return, we will be in a position to host some of your matches right here in Tobago."

Speaking at the event, Trinidadian all-rounder Kieron Pollard says Tobago has the potential to produce young talents worthy of playing for the West Indies and in the CPL.

Pollard, who makes his debut with the TKR in today's opening match, captained the Barbados Tridents from 2013 to 2017. In last year's CPL tournament, he played for the St Lucia Zouks.

He said several Tobago cricketers have performed with distinction over the years.

"Yes, we are Trinidad and Tobago and there are a couple of guys who would have represented the region from Tobago. Lincoln Roberts would have played for West Indies a couple of years ago and more recently, Mr Navin Stewart would have represented the (Barbados) Tridents franchise for a couple of years in the CPL as well," he said

THE PARTY START: A student shows his dance moves as he is excited to meet the Trinbago Knight Riders stars at the Lowlands Multi-Purpose Facility on Monday.

"So, yes, in Tobago, it is the smaller island of the two but there is talent here as well. It is a matter for us, as individuals and role models, trying to tap into that and with the partnership between the Division of Tourism, NLCB and the TKR, we have been able to do that and we can get more players and more people coming out of Tobago as well."

Pollard said he was pleased with the turnout of students at the session.

"In our time we weren't privileged enough to meet so many superstars...These sort of franchise systems have brought all of us together and as young people from the small island of Trinidad and Tobago, and sometimes we don't get the opportunity to meet some of these superstars."

He urged the youngsters to take advantage of the opportunity.

Pollard also thanked TKR captain Dwayne Bravo for his contribution to the team's development. Bravo, who was scheduled to do surgery for a fracture on his left hand, did not attend Monday's visit. The top wicket-taker is likely to miss today's opening match.

"He has done a lot of great things for TKR and I have been on the opposite side of that for the past six years or so and it gives me great pleasure to stand here and be with this family. I think the things that they give you as individuals, you want to grasp it. It is a special environment and it's something each and every one of us outside of TKR before would have wanted to enjoy."

TKR team manager Colin Borde; TKR CEO Mysore; NLCB Marketing Manager Lisandra Thompson and event manager Susan Norrell also spoke at Monday's event.

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