A high level delegation will leave Antigua and Barbuda this Thursday (June 23, 2016) for the United States of America to promote the nation’s visionary and innovative strides in the development of cricket.
The delegation participating in the five day tour is being led by Antigua and Barbuda’s National Hero and International Cricket Icon, Sir Vivian Richards.
While in the US, the delegation will visit Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Florida to meet with key cricket, media and community stakeholders where they will promote the first test match of the upcoming West Indies vs India tour which takes place at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
In addition to promoting the July 21- 25 test match, Sir Viv will also introduce the Asian Cricket Festival which will be hosted annually in Antigua beginning in 2017. The progress of the Four Knights Academy, which was launched in 2015, along with plans for its continued development, will also be featured.
The highlight of the tour will occur on Saturday June 25, when Sir Viv will address the 27th Convention of the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin under the theme, “Come Visit Me At Home: Enjoy Cricket and Carnival.” Ambassador Dr. Walton Webson, Antigua and Barbuda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, will attend the convention along with the delegation.i
This gathering, the largest of Indians residing in the US, will provide a singular opportunity to market both the July 2016 test match and the Asian Cricket Festival which has already garnered widespread interest and support from the international cricket community. Those in attendance will include India’s Minister of External Affairs, Hon. Sushma Swaraj along with a number of US Governors, Senators and Congressmen.
As part of the tour, Sir Viv will also be featured as a guest on a primetime TV Asia USA interview before a live studio audience and will visit the Ayra Dance Academy along with several Bollywood superstars. He will also attend a luncheon with supporters and participate in presentations with fellow cricketers.
Minister of Sport, the Hon. E. P. Chet Greene, speaking ahead of the departure of the Antiguan representatives, noted the unique opportunity created by the overlap of the July test match with Carnival 60.
“Antigua and Barbuda has been given a great chance to encourage tourists to choose our islands with this fantastic ‘2 for 1’ celebration of Carnival and Cricket. We want residents living abroad, as well as tourists, to come for the cricket and remain with us for our Carnival 60 celebrations. The essence of our efforts is captured perfectly by the theme for the delegation’s tour, ‘Come Visit Me in Antigua,'” said Greene.
Minister Greene added that he was very pleased that Sir Viv had agreed to utilise his international appeal and overwhelming popularity among the Indian community to promote Antigua and Barbuda and endorse the annual Asian Cricket Festival.
The United States tour is supported by the Ministry of Sports and the Antigua and Barbuda Sports Tourism Authority.