BVI News

Wheatley bats for cricket to return as popular sport in BVI

Scene from Sunday’s fixture of the Ralph T O’Neal Cricket Tournament. (Photo by Kamal Haynes)

Minister responsible for sports Dr Natalio Wheatley is batting for cricket to return as a popular sport in the British Virgin Islands.

He made the statement when the BVI Cricket Association (BVICA) launched its first cricket tournament of the year in Greenland, East End on Sunday.

“I look forward to the day — and I believe that day is coming very soon — when persons who are born and bred in the Virgin Islands will once again embrace the game of cricket” Dr Wheatley said.

Eighth District representative Marlon Penn — one of the sponsors of the tournament — said he will be working closely with sports minister to return cricket as a school programme.

He further said he supports the development of sports tourism, especially considering the positive benefits sports have on communities.

“Sports bring communities together. I see a lot in persons in this community, persons who come out on daily basis to enjoy the sport. I thought about the fun they have on the cricket field, the comradery that cricket brings to the community. Not only that, but the economic benefits that our community receives when you come to cricket on Sundays,” Penn said at the start of the tournament which was renamed in honour of former Premier, Dr Ralph T O’Neal.

The BVICA said the tournament was renamed in honour of the former premier because of his ‘years of contribution’ to the sport.

Sports Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley and former Premier, Ralph T O’Neal.

Meanwhile, public relations officer of BVICA Daniel Singh said up until one week prior to the launch of the tournament, there were no signs of sponsorship. That was when local insurer NAGICO came on board.

The tournament runs until July 21 and comprises eight teams including Vincy CC, Royal Knights, RTW, Vikings, Grenada CC, Cavaliers, the Police cricketers and VG Spartans. The winner will walk away with a cash prize of $2,500 while second and third place will win $1,500 and $500, respectively.

Matched played Sunday, April 14

The first match of the day saw the Vikings defeating Police to win by eight wickets.

Sent into bat first, Police were bowled out for 130 in 17.3 overs with Jamal Mickle top scoring with a well-played 73 runs including 12 fours and three sixes.

For Vikings, the player of the match was lead bowler Deko Khemraj who took five wickets in three overs.

Vikings then went in to bat 134 for two in 12.1 overs to win by eight wickets.

Meanwhile, in the second game of the day saw the Cavaliers defeating VG Spartans by a massive 126 runs. Batting first, the Cavaliers posted a healthy total of 212 for eight with opening batsman Avishkar Sewkarran top scoring with 89 runs inclusive of 10 fours and 6 sixes.

VG Spartan, in their chase, were bowled out for 86 in 11.1 overs.

All games will be played on Sundays with the next fixture set for April 21.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cricket will never regain the appeal here in the BVI that i did in past generations.

    The effort is applauded, but it can be suggested that effort be redirected towards sports that are more popular with current generation.

    Like 10
    Dislike 6
  2. Observant says:

    I strongly disagree with your comment and be reminded that the only Being that can foresee anything is God. Try to be positive because this sport has taken a lot of West Indians out of poverty and we dominated this sport for decades beating so called “first world” countries. Being open minded positively does not hurt eh.

    Like 4
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  3. Resident says:

    I bet you if the U.S. start playing cricket you will see how the locals get interested! We have become too Americanized! We are British. Cricket is our sport!

    Like 12
    Dislike 6
  4. @ Resident says:

    Speak for yourself. The majority, including myself, are not British, but African Caribbean!

    A lineage i thoroughly associate with and am proud of.

    It is who we are. We are not British.

    Stop imposing your colonial lies upon a population that is authentically of African descent.

    History has taught us that, the colonialist came, illegally confiscated lands that were not theirs and claimed the as their own, kidnapped an African people and re-planted them here.

    How, under those circumstances can they called “British?”

    Rain check. Our mentality is no longer situated within the colonial framework. Not all of us.

    Like 9
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  5. Reader says:


    You have completely missed the point dear. What you said has merit but, not relevant to this forum.

    Like 6
    Dislike 3
  6. Me again says:

    @ Reader
    I concur. They completely MISSED the point being made ?
    Mr Calvin Hodge told us back in High school in the 70 s
    Reading is understanding NOT just calling words

    Like 3
    Dislike 4
  7. Joey says:

    Folks there is a difference between nationality and ethnicity.

  8. Jackson says:

    Crickets Boring game here in the BVI come on look at the cash prize from a former minister and after this tournament who would take up the next one where are the levels of better players here make it to this is just a community thing playing for fun please let’s make cricket and other sports bigger and better for the BVI .

  9. Dean says:

    But look at the Pitch lol where’s the Clay oh yes and check the ball I think it’s just taped up and these man well padded up oh s**t “Bowl Him”

    Like 1
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    • Cricket Fan says:

      I suggest you come and actually watch and game interact with the players and ask questions and get the facts straight my friend, because you don’t know what you talking, and if you not really interested just don’t comment.

      Like 2
      Dislike 1
    • @Dean says:

      You can tell you don’t know a crap about cricket. There are hard ball cricket and tape ball cricket matches. The BVI Cricket Tournament holds a hard ball tournament dummy

  10. @Dean says:

    You can tell you don’t know a crap about cricket. There are hard ball cricket and tape ball cricket matches. The BVI Cricket Tournament holds a hard ball tournament dummy

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