Mixed-Gender Cricket Match: Mia Mottley Offers Kensington Oval

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Caption: Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley holds a cricket ball while speaking to his Barbadian counterpart Mia Mottley at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain on Thursday

By Prior Beharry

BARBADOS Prime Minister Mia Mottley is offering the Kensington Oval in her country to host a mixed-gender cricket match.

She said, “I offer to you publicly again that Kensington Oval, that iconic ground, could be a location where we break new ground again in history by having a mixed-gender game; recognising that in the Olympics you’re soon going to have mixed gender relays, and we don’t need to wait on others to lead us but we can resume the leadership in ensuring that just as the game has evolved from Test, to 50 overs to T20 to the increase in women’s cricket that ultimately that will soon be the next step.”


Mottley was speaking at a Caricom Community (CARICOM) Regional Cricket Conference for Reinvigorating West Indies Cricket that was titled “A Symposium for Strategic Collaboration and Innovation” at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Thursday.

Mottley said, “I stand as a trustee of the legacy that my country which has defined itself in many ways but one of those clear ways was in the game of cricket. 

President of Cricket West Indies Dr Kishore Shallow, right, with former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd

“As the smallest nation in the world (Barbados) to now host three global sporting events, with cricket being the third largest global event only after the olympics and football, I place that in context because it is important for us to understand that the mission must be the nurturing of a DNA of excellence that is allowed to spread beyond the boundary in every aspect of our lives as Caribbean people to reflect on the fact that because politicians can’t do better this is still the best example of along with the University of the West Indies of Caribbean civilization.”

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, left, Vice President of Cricket West Indies Azim Bassarath, second left, with former Trinidad and West Indies cricketers Anisa Mohammed and Merissa Aguilleira, right.

The Caribbean and the United States will host the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup from June 1 to 29 with the finals at the Kensington Oval.

In the past, Kensington Oval held the ICC 50 Over World Cup Finals in 2007 when Australia beat Sri Lanka and the T20 World Cup championship game in 2010 when England won its first ever world wide limited overs tournament.

Minister of Education Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, left, with Principal of the University of the West Indies Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine

In her address, Mottley said, “To accept the obligation that in an interdependent world we must create global citizens with Caribbean roots at the core, if it is about development and investment, it’s the young people and I am happy it’s not just boys, it’s the boys and girls who will become the men and women who can become these global citizens with Caribbean roots.”

She praised West Indies women cricketer Hayley Matthews was heralded by Wisden as its T20 Cricketer of the year.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board and Vice President of Cricket West Indies Azim Bassarath, centre, with former West Indies opening batsmen Gordon Greenidge, right, and Desmond Haynes

Mottley said Shallow on March 8, International Women’s Day, and asked him then to start a journey of removing the discriminatory practices between men and women.

She added, “Practices that go as far as the quality of the coverage and the camera covering the game, meaning that it has become less alluring to those who may not be fully engaged purely because when you look at the IPL (Indian Premier League) and you look at the women playing cricket in many other jurisdictions it just doesn’t look the same.

“That cannot be a metaphor for our own development and the fact and the obligation of removing the discrimination that exists between men and women’s cricket is absolutely critical.”

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

Mottley then offered the Kensington Oval to host a mixed-gender game saying, “There has to be an equal system that is developed and a recognition that a core part of the development strategy of the region must include opportunities for our sports men of which cricket is the one along with team sport that has most allowed us to be learned to be accepted globally as a legitimate brand.”

She said, “Inspite of the ups and downs the West Indies cricket brand is still strong, and what does that tell you about it – that it is enduring. And we have an obligation to be able to level the field by the investments that we have to make in this sport, recognising that not all may make the team the right to wear that maroon (the colour of the West Indies cricket team) but all can participate at different levels to make a living.”


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