Defending champions New York Masters will begin the defence of their Antigua and Barbuda Masters International title when they take on last year's runners-up the Barbados Masters on Wednesday, November 14. This is just one of the exciting matches taking place during this year's Cricket Festival at the glorious Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium.
This match will be one of four 20/20 matches that will start this year's event: "It's all systems go, we are ready and the teams are ready as we head into four days of intense and fun cricket, with back to back matches starting at 9:30 am and ending at 10:00 pm. The players are all excited and ready to entertain us with competitive matches," states Kenny Benjamin, one of the Antigua and Barbuda International Masters 20/20 Ambassadors.
The first day matches will feature newcomers Wadadli New York who will take on the New Jersey Masters. Home team favourites and Leeward Island's champions the Antigua Masters will face the New Jersey Masters in the late afternoon clash before the first day ends with heavily favoured Central Trinidad facing the Wadadli New York team.
Austin 'Hutch' Hutchinson, New York Masters Captain explains why they travel to Antigua to be a part of this event: "We participate because we love cricket and we enjoy Antigua."
Hutchinson adds that they take each match seriously: "In order to be a successful Masters team, you must play together for a long period of time, keep active, and we also participate in an an annual master's league in the USA."
The New York Masters team also travels across the region playing in various Masters Tournaments: "We take part in the Michael Holding Masters every year in Jamaica, and we have played in the Sir Gary Sobers Masters in Barbados, and every April we play in the Carriacou Masters tournament."
Over three days the seven teams: Wadadli New York; New Jersey Masters; Veterans Club of St. Croix; Central Trinidad; New York Masters; Barbados Masters and the Antigua Masters will compete for a place in the final on Sunday, November 18. The outstanding players from each team will have an opportunity to play in a special match on Saturday, November 17 as the Combined Masters will take on a West Indies Cricket Stars team in an exhibition 20/20.
One of the benefits of this event is that there is no entrance fee: "All the matches are free, so persons can come at anytime during the day and watch their favourite teams and/or players. We are going to have all the elements that makes cricket in Antigua and Barbuda so special, from Chickie's Hi-Fi to vendors and a couple of surprises and prizes for our fans," says Benjamin
The Antigua Barbuda International Masters 20/20 will be held from November 14 to 18, 2012
Title Sponsor: Ministry of Tourism
Virgin Holidays; Godard Catering; Wadadli Cats; Special Security Services; NSA Medical; Infonet Studios; Liat; Cool & Smooth; Quin Farara; Photogenesis; Antigua Barbuda Transport Board; Antigua Barbuda Tourism Authority. Media partners: antiguanice.com; KaribCable; VybzFm; 365antigua; Observer Media Group; ABST TV/Radio; Caribbean Super Station and NICE FM.
Special thanks to Digicel Antigua; Royal Police Force of Antigua Barbuda; West Indies Cricket Board; Antigua Barbuda Cricket Association; Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium and LMR Signs