Laziness killing our cricket

Loss of popularity

Historically cricket was once a very popular sport in St Vincent and the Grenadines, much as was the case in the English-speaking Caribbean generally. That is not to say that it has ever been more popular here than football.

The demise of the West Indies cricket team in international competition, the growth in television coverage of other sports on a more regular basis, especially the USA’s professional basketball league, NBA, the availability of university scholarships in basketball, football, volleyball and athletics, and the weakness of the local game of cricket have combined in a rather cruel way to aid in the rapid loss of popularity of the game of cricket in St Vincent and the Grenadines at the spectator level and increasingly at the level of those seeking to play the sport.

There was a time when people gathered at playing fields across the country to enjoy a good game of cricket regardless of who were involved in the encounter. It was a good way to spend one’s weekend.

Gradually the growth in distractions such as other forms of entertainment especially in the urban area saw the decline in the followership of the sport of cricket as well as a decline in the number of people entering the game as players. Community life still means something in rural St Vincent and the Grenadines and cricket lends itself to such an approach.

The rural areas remain to this day the bastion of participation in the sport and this in light of the more traditional way of life and the existence of as yet fewer distractions.

Today, there is little evidence of the popularity of cricket in St Vincent and the Grenadines beyond the fact that the Arnos Vale arena is full whenever we host a One Day International cricket match involving the West Indies.