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Cuba cricket team to play eight matches in SVG

Cuba cricket team to play eight matches in SVG

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“It is profoundly an exercise of our sovereignty and independence.”

That is how this country’s Prime Minister has described an upcoming visit of the Cuba national cricket team, for what is expected to be an eight match series.{{more}}

He was at the time presenting some EC$10,000 worth of cricket gear to the Cuban Ambassador to St Vincent and the Grenadines, Olga Chamero Trias, for the Cuban cricket team.

Dr Gonsalves expressed his great disappointment that the Cuban team, coached by Vincentian cricketer Denis Byam, was unable to take part in the Stanford 20/20 Tournament that got on the way last weekend.

“The Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines is treating the visit of the Cuban National team as a serious matter,” Dr Gonsalves said.

Dr Gonsalves suggested that in the back drop of the Cuban 20/20 disappointment because of the United States 46-year-old economic, commercial, and financial embargo against Cuba, the visit of the Cuban cricket team is an historic visit.

It is the first time a Cuban cricket team will tour.

US authorities prevented Texan Billionaire Sir Allen Stanford from allowing Cuba to take part in his US$2 million, 20-team tournament, which is in its second year.

“They may not be able to play in the 20/20 competition…but no one can stop a sovereign nation from exercising its independence to invite any team from Cuba to come and play cricket,” Dr Gonsalves said.

For her part, Cuban Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines Olga Chamero Trias said that what St Vincent and the Grenadines is doing is connected to sports and foreign policy.

She commended the Vincentian government for its principled stance as regards Cuba, saying that some other countries are not brave and honest enough to be so clear on the issue.

She was especially pleased that the gifts were being handed over, and the official announcement of the cricket team’s visit was being made on January 28th, the 155th anniversary of the birth of the national hero of Cuba and the man referred to as the “Apostle of Cuban Independence”, Jose Marti.

“The Vincentian government is celebrating with us, the Cuban government,” she said.

For his part, Minister of Sports, Glen Beache, said that it was good that Cuba can learn cricket from St Vincent and the Grenadines, seeing that we have benefited from Cuban expertise in so many different areas.

Meanwhile, Coach Byam gave assurance that the Cuban national team will be competitive and even quipped that the team, at an average age of 24, can’t do worse than some of the teams taking part in the Stanford 20/20 tournament.

Matches will be held against top Vincentian premier division teams and the National team. (KJ)

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