Celebrity T20 aims to raise funds for hurricane-ravaged islands

Monday, October 02, 2017

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Two-time Twenty20 World Cup-winning skipper Darren Sammy will lead an Invitational XI against a Trinidad and Tobago side in a celebrity charity Twenty20 match later this month aimed at raising TT$1 million (US$148,085) for Caribbean countries affected by the recent passage of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The match, scheduled for October 14 at Queen's Park Oval, has been organised as a joint venture by Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT), the T&T Cricket Board and Queen's Park Cricket Club.

Sammy, a former Test captain, will preside over a side including the likes of West Indies stars Chris Gayle, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams and Chadwick Walton, with Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake also expected to participate.

The T&T outfit will be led by Kieron Pollard and is expected to comprise some of the biggest names on the international T20 circuit.

Dinanath Ramnarine, chairman of SporTT, said the venue was vitally important in light of the recent devastation, especially in Dominica.

“The Leewards Islands and Greater Antilles bore the brunt of the 180 mph winds and torrential rain, while the destruction has been immeasurable on all levels with dozens of lives lost, hundreds of homes damaged, and basic utilities and infrastructure on many islands devastated,” said Ramnarine.

“While the Caribbean is not immune or unaccustomed to the sometimes destructive forces of nature, the call for immediate relief from neighbouring countries was met with urgency and the entire region has rallied around the most affected.”

He added: “The intention of this charity match is to use sport as the unifying force for good that we all know it is and can be.

“It is important that our sporting heroes can stand up and be counted when their assistance is required [and] they are ready to put their talent on display for the benefit of more than just those who spectate, but those who need it most.”

Dominica suffered widespread devastation and the loss of 15 lives when Hurricane Maria slammed into the island two weeks ago as a Category Five cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Only two weeks earlier, Hurricane Irma struck Barbuda, leaving the tiny island uninhabitable.

Several other islands, especially in the northern Leewards, were also affected by the tropical systems.

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