The cricket-loving Dominican public is in for 15 days of exciting action from Sunday, May 22 when the Dream 11 Nature Isle T10 bowls off at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium.
The inaugural short-form tournament is tagged “A Taste of Nature,” and organizers say it will create fresh buzz about destination Dominica and attract new opportunities for sports tourism.
“We will be pushing much of Dominica’s natural sites and attributes throughout the tournament,” says Liam Sebastian, the Cricket Operations Manager at the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA.) “We will be promoting heavily, not just the cricket product, but the Nature Isle and all we have to offer. It is an opportunity for us to present a full package as a tourism destination.”
Sebastian tells eMAGE DM the ultra-short version of the game will keep fans, already familiar with the T-20 format, on the edge of their seats until the competition’s close on June 5.
“It’s fast paced. The boundary sizes are smaller than normal so there is a lot more room for sixes and fours, which is what you want to see when you come out for a short game. We are expecting a very exciting tournament. It’s new yes, but it’s catching on in the region and internationally, and I think it’s Dominica’s turn to shine,” the cricket administrator and former Windward Islands player declares.
Dream 11 is an India- based company, which has executed major cricketing events around the world, including similar T10 tournaments in St. Vincent, Trinidad, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Grenada.
The Nature Isle T10 will feature some of Dominica’s top local talent playing for six teams named for signature natural sites- the Valley Hikers, Sari Sari Sunrisers, Barana Aute Warriors, Titou Gorge Splashers, Indian River Rowers and the Champagne Reef Divers.
Captain of the Titou Gorge Splashers and national player Jerlani Robinson is fresh from a successful turn with the bat at the Spice Isle T10 Tournament held in Grenada in April.
“The T-10 format really boils down to who can hold their nerve because one over can cost you an entire game. For the players, for the fans, it brings a whole new element of excitement. I think this will help generate interest among the young cricketers to keep playing the sport and will attract new fans to the game,” he says.
Vincent Lewis, who previously played for the Windward Islands Volcanoes, is captaining the Indian River Rowers.
“We have this opportunity to put on a show for the rest of the world. It’s a good look for us and I think it is about marketing our talent as cricketers, but also our island as the ideal visitor destination,” he says.
The veteran senior national player Kevin James, the captain of the Valley Hikers foresees new prospects for Dominican players to up their game and gain rewards for their craft.
“It’s always nice being part of something new but the fact that our players get the opportunity to have this exposure in front of what we expect to be a decent size local crowd and the online audience, I think this holds promise for our players . This is the first we are seeing that players are actually going to get paid to play some form of cricket in Dominica,” James explains.
Starved for play since the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017, scores of cricket enthusiasts are expected to descend on Windsor Park to witness the local boys take the field.
“We know the excitement that the T20 brings, so just imagine that the T10 will be double that excitement,” Casimir Benjamin, the Captain of the Sari Sari Sunrisers teases, while Micah Joseph of the Champagne Reef Divers is appealing to local fans to support the efforts of the DCA and the young players who are eager to put on a show for the Dominican audience.
“Expect explosive cricket. Come on down to the stadium and enjoy the cricket,” Joseph urges.
Preliminary games cost $5. Ticket prices increase to $10 on finals weekend.
Featured Photo: Members of the Titou Gorge Splashers at team practice at the Botanical Gardens ahead of the Dream 11 T10 Tournament.
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