Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 28, 2017 (SKNIS): Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Sports, Honourable Shawn Richards, has praised the Royal Beach Casino for renewing its commitment to the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots cricket team as it prepares for the start of the 2017 Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) tournament in August.

On Friday (July 28), the team captain, Carlos Brathwaite, accepted a sponsorship cheque of US36,000 from the President of the Royal Beach Casino, Ugo Gagliardi during a ceremony at Sky Ultra Lounge.

Deputy Prime Minister Richards noted the benefits that are derived from St. Kitts and Nevis being the host country for a franchise team in the CPL. This includes increased international exposure during the broadcast of local games, the creation of jobs, and an increase in economic activity, which, was estimated to be more than EC $30 million last year. He said partnerships with businesses were important for the team to be successful on the field and to attract quality players, who are good role models off the field.

“Those particular benefits of course cannot accrue to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis unless we have local entities being involved and supporting CPL, supporting the SKN Patriots. Therefore, the signing of this agreement … is rather significant,” Honourable Richards said, noting that this marks the third consecutive year of this sponsorship.

Mr. Gagliardi said that his company was “more than happy to be involved” with the team as it has managers with the right level of professionalism and expertise that is important to guide the team to success.

Minister Richards encouraged locals to continue to support the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots and the CPLT20.

The team’s first match in the tournament is on August 05 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida against the Guyana Amazon Warriors. The home debut takes place on August 18 as the Patriots square off against the Barbados Trident at Warner Park. The remaining three matches at Warner Park will be played on August 19, 21 and 23.