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Twenty/Twenty – plenty, plenty

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West Indian cricket fans must be having a field day. The Stanford 20/20 has aroused the imagination on many levels. It has surfaced as a source of social therapy, as it beams into people’s homes at hours convenient for the acceptance of any entertainment package.

Even those following on radio must be overjoyed by the commentary.{{more}}

And the rest of the world is into the action with highlights transmitted to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Europe and inevitably to other major venues.

No matter how cynical or suspicious one may be of Stanford’s motive, one can’t help but appreciate the value of this injection to the regional economy. There is an additional spill over. No doubt, some talent will emerge from the showdown, no matter how brief the appearance might have been. Already, there is talk of nurturing the Nevisan-born Keron Powel, who is sighted as one for the future.

There have been differing interpretations of the tournament. For many countries and individuals, it was an opportunity to appear on the wider arena, no matter how old they might be. It has been a launching pad for many a cricketer who might have missed out on big times, but who can now grasp the opportunity to shine their light, regardless of their fading consequences.

Then there is also the accusation of greed by some established cricketers who might have missed the big times. and who by virtue of their influence, or contact, have re-emerged on either their national squad or some other entity.

How powerful is the lure of big money. For who would want to miss out on an opportunity of winning US $25,000 in less that three hours or US $10,000 in perhaps one second.

There is also the US $1 million for the champions. That is sufficient reason to galvanize any unit into giving others a run for their money.

For that is truly an incentive.

The timing of the event has come with some significance to Vincentians. It came after the staging of the nation’s premier cultural festival, and on the heels of the FIFA World Cup. So the avid sports fan could not have found a better time to keep their appetites whetted.

The matches come as a prelude to the 2007 World Cup, carded for the Caribbean from March.

But with all the activity on the cards, even with the International Cricket Council’s Tournament in November, sport lovers must be counting the days on their calendar to when the tournaments are scheduled.

How the Stanford 20/20 unfolds will add to the intensity. By today, Friday, July 28, the semi-finalists will be known.

The elimination process was rapid, and once the formalities were out of the way it was survival of the fittest.

The Stanford 20/20 has been so exciting that some sports lovers are suggesting that Stanford should experiment with football. Caribbean people tend to be skeptical of any semblance of control by outside elements, especially when there is the appearance of a colonialist or imperialist legacy.

But persons have ignored any racist overtones, and Alan Stanford is viewed as a possible saviour of West Indian cricket, or at least an enterprising innovator.

When the tournament is over Sunday, August 13, there will be a void in the Caribbean psyche and fans will be yearning for a repeat of such an extravaganza. In addition to the finance, the reservoir of talent for the composition of future Caribbean teams would have extended in a dramatic fashion.

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