These were some of the sentiments expressed by members of the capacity crowd that filled the Warner Park Cricket Stadium on Thursday (August 07) for the debut matches of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 Tournament.
Nan and his wife were two persons that attended the game. They are originally from Guyana but migrated to St. Kitts in 2000. Nan was decked out in a jersey for the Guyana Amazon Warriors and rooted loudly for the team as they defeated the Antigua Hawksbills in the first matchup.
“Well the atmosphere is very good, everybody’s comfortable,” he stated, during a rain delay in the second match between the Barbados Tridents and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel. Nan is an avid cricket fan since his playing days at school. He held up his fishing pole with the Guyana national flag and said the atmosphere between cricket matches in St. Kitts and his homeland is different.
“We have to lineup like 3 ‘o’ clock in the morning for a 10 ‘o’ clock game,” he stated, recalling past experiences, which can have an impact on the spirit of the fans. “It’s more convenient to get into a St. Kitts game than Guyana [considering] the population. It’s great to see [the game] under the lights and it is a great progress for St. Kitts and Nevis.”
Last night’s games were the first international matches held under the new outdoor sports lights at Warner Park. This reportedly added to the festive mood as a Mexican wave swept across the cricket stadium and the Iron Band pounded out tunes from the Western mound up until the game ended close to midnight.
Errol Laws soaked it all up. He entered the stadium for the first match in the afternoon and was still excited near the end of the second game. However, there was something he did miss during the game – the transition between the sunlight and the new outdoor sports lights.
“To be honest I didn’t even notice,” he admitted. “It’s really bright. I’ve been all around the grounds and it was really bright. You can’t see any dark spots.”
The international media covering the CPL also noted the “electric atmosphere” and were very complimentary of the pitch and other features including the swimming pool that was part of the Karma Party Stand.
CPL preliminary matches climax this weekend with two more doubleheaders. On Saturday (August 09) the defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs will square off against the St. Lucia Zouks while the second match features the Antigua Hawksbills and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
On Sunday, the St. Lucia Zouks return to action against the Guyana Amazon Warriors followed by the Barbados Tridents versus the Jamaica Tallawahs.