MP bats for cricket
Having turned out to play for the St Elizabeth Invitational team in the IGL Curry Goat Cricket series last Sunday, Member of Parliament for South Eastern St Elizabeth, Franklyn Witter, is adamant that cricket has the power to promote peace.
Witter, who made one run before being bowled out by a member of the IGL Blue Flames team, said that he has been playing cricket for more than 40 years.
"I represented the parish for many years. I play as much as I can. I try to play at least once per month. Sometimes, given the nature of my job, I would be missing a few matches," he said.
And despite the high crime rate in the country, he noted that St Elizabeth is a relatively peaceful parish, and he believes that cricket plays a big part in the parish remaining relatively crime-free.
"Cricket is a big way of coming together. St Elizabeth is one of the few parishes that has five players representing the West Indies team at once. That happened in the past. St Elizabeth and, especially south St Elizabeth, is almost crime-free as it relates to murder and serious crimes, and I think cricket plays a very important role in bringing us together," he said.
"If you travel across Jamaica on a weekend, it is only in St Elizabeth that you go and find at least two or three cricket matches going on," he continued.
He added that the IGL Curry Goat Cricket series, in particular, is good for promoting camaraderie in St Elizabeth and other parishes.
"IGL bringing back the curry goat cricket is a good thing, and I think from what we see, the people really love it," he said.
And with fewer persons playing cricket in the country, he believes that the longer format of the game needs to be promoted more aggressively to develop more cricketers.
"We need to play more of the longer version to develop the talent. Twenty20 brings out the crowd, but the longer version develops more talent," Witter said.