THE DREAM 11 Vincy Premier League (4.0) has come and gone. Congratulations are in order for the organisers who staged another showpiece event that should make Vincentians proud.
This latest edition that ended last Sunday, did justice to its tagline “ Build a Vibe”.
Thus, VPL 4.0 was taken to new heights, set new marks and the standard raised to a different level.
Kudos to all who put their creative juices and expertise to good effect and gave Vincentians and others two weeks of cricket and much needed social interaction.
Whilst, Vincentians were not on total lock down per se, the VPL though brought out people who were yearning for entertainment and opportunities to be “ outside”.
Hence, the takeaways from the VPL 4.0 are numerous. The local players in the main were profiled; they gained some remuneration for their efforts whilst persons at the Arnos Vale venue and those looking at the streaming and television coverage, got a view of their talent.
Not to be slighted, the organisers showed what some proper marketing, merchandising and public appeal can do to maintain interest.
As such, there were some waves of support for the six teams as people were willing to identify with their favourite players as well. Hence, a fan base was built as some teams that were seen as minnows prior to the two -week period of the competition, attracted followers for one reason or the other.
Similarly, the injection of more regional players in this latest edition, created greater competition among the teams.
Hopefully, their presence, knowledge , experience and input, would have injected some pluses into the Vincentian players’ confidence and abilities and vice versa.
All players would have given the hosts of other T/10 competitions data of their abilities, with a possibility of some earning places in teams in other territories.
And, this has already begun to bear fruit as some players have since jetted off for the Grenada T/10.
One however, cannot for a moment slight the fast- paced T/10 cricket competition as an event strictly for entertainment. The VPL though served as a good gauge for the level of game awareness, adaptability and those who show a good understanding of that format of the sport.
We also saw greater commitment of players, as they would give their all to their teams’ causes, as they went in pursuit of the winner’s purse of EC$ 25,000.
Beyond the obvious healthy first place prize money, which is the largest pay out for any Vincentian sporting competition, other spin offs would have accrued. Of course, the six assigned coaches to the teams would have become better tacticians and upped their ante as it relates to the assessment of players’ abilities.
But everything else being said, it is wished that the positives can be transferred to other national cricket competitions. It will be far fetched to think that our local two -day competition, as well as the T/20 competition, would generate the same look in. If nothing else, one should see a greater push and following for local cricket matches.
The onus therefore on the local cricket authorities is to keep that same energy expended on the VPL. Not expecting the same results, but let it be that you exerted that effort.
Indeed, the VPL has not only spurred on cricket, but football last Wednesday gained on the momentum set by the staging of VPL 4.0. Notwithstanding that international football was returning to St Vincent and the Grenadines for the better part of two years, credit must go to the VPL for creating that springboard for last Wednesday’s turn out at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, when SVG women faced their BVI counterparts in the world cup qualifiers.
So the way is paved for other sporting disciplines to catch the fever, and ride the waves now that we have had an ease in the debilitating health restrictions.