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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, April 12th 2017 – West Basseterre Member of Parliament, Hon. Konris Maynard poured shame and disgrace Thursday on the Team Unity Government of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris and Minister of Sports, Hon. Shawn Richards, for denying the Under 15 Cricket Team of St. Kitts and Nevis the opportunity to defend their championship in the Leeward Islands Under 15 Cricket Tournament now underway in Anguilla.
“They will not be able to defend their championship. What are the priorities of the Team Unity Government?” asked MP Maynard, who also questioned whether the failure of Dr. Harris to withhold financing of the under 15 youths participation in the tournament in Anguilla “one of the ploys by Timothy Harris to weaken other ministers.”
“What rational can this Team Unity government has for denying the under 15 cricketers from going to nearby Anguilla to play in the Leeward Islands competition,” asked the young MP.
He slammed the failure of the Team unity Government to provide the finances for the team’s participation at a “time when we are talking about youth and violence and eradicating gang violence, and we cannot find the money to send them over to Anguilla.”
But we can find EC$60,000 or more to pay two (Federal ministers Hon. Vance Amory and Hon. Mark Brantley) each month for doing half a job. We can find EC$7 million to spend on The Strip (at Frigate Bay) that should only cost EC$500,000, but we cannot find a few hundred or a few thousand dollars to send our youngsters to Anguilla to defend their championship.”
He lamented that the reigning champions, the St. Kitts under-15 cricket team will not be able to defend their championship.
“The Minister responsible for Sport (Hon. Shawn Richards) should be ashamed of himself. This is not the first time this has happened,” said MP Maynard who recalled an Under 13-Netball Team was denied financing to travel to a sub-regional championship in 2015 and athletes to a CARIFTA games.
“Is it just incompetency or serious infighting where PM and Minister of Finance Harris is saying ‘I need to have control over you next election, so I have to weaken you. I will not approve money to send the cricketers to Anguilla.’
That remark is made against constant reports of Timothy Harris’ agenda to weaken the PAM ministers in the coalition cabinet, while he makes plans to field a full slate of candidates or horse-trading for the next elections constitutionally due in 2020.
WINNFM reports that the cricket tournament started on April 8th and ends on the 13th.
This year’s tournament is hosted by Anguilla and St. Maarten, and features teams from Anguilla, St. Maarten, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda, and the British Virgin Islands.
A source close to the Cricket Association on condition of anonymity said poor planning and lack of funds for airfare and accommodation were responsible for the under-15 team not joining the tournament this year.
According to WINNFM, the individual claimed, the decision not to send the youngsters to the tournament was not justified, as in his opinion, there were cheaper alternatives for travel and housing that would have allowed for the team’s participation.
The source said not participating in the Leeward Islands tournament has further implications for the young sportsmen, as the members of the national Under 15 cricket team are now ineligible for selection for the Leeward Islands Under-15 Squad.
Photo 1- Hon. Shawn Richards
Photo 2 – Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris
Photo 3- Hon. Konris Maynard
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