The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

to re­cover. They’re very fo­cused . . . they mesh well to­gether.” As for the man­age­ment team and coaches, while their goal is al­ways to get their play­ers to do their very best, it’s also most im­por­tant to them that every­one has fun do­ing what they do!

“We’re go­ing to bring home the gold with smiles on our faces,” said the team di­rec­tor. “We don’t want to bring home the gold frown­ing, and ex­hausted. We want to bring home the gold with an en­ergy that is con­ta­gious. We want to share in our tri­umphs. We think all the time about how Saint Lu­cians will feel when we come back with the gold. We want them to feel we’re all in it to­gether. As a team. As a col­lec­tive that also in­volves the peo­ple of this is­land.”

Led by Cap­tain Daren Sammy, Pandya and the rest of the Stars team ex­pect noth­ing short of great­ness from play­ers at this year’s CPL matches, sched­uled to kick off here in Saint Lu­cia on Au­gust 4th. When asked, Pandya spoke briefly about Sammy’s ab­sence from the West Indies side: “You have these mo­ments when you’ll make a de­ci­sion but with great dif­fi­culty. You want to do both but at the end of the day you have to go where your heart lies. I be­lieve, and I can’t speak for Daren, I wasn’t there when he made the de­ci­sion, but I truly be­lieve it came from a very happy place in his heart; a very proud place. He’s in­cred­i­bly pa­tri­otic. He loves Saint Lu­cia: the peo­ple, the cul­ture, ev­ery­thing about Saint Lu­cia.”

Re­flect­ing on how well the team and man­age­ment had bonded in the space of a few months Pandya could only de­scribe it as amaz­ing. Al­ready they’ve de­vel­oped a syn­ergy and chem­istry that trans­lated eas­ily from ini­tial What’s App group chats to face-to-face in­ter­ac­tions.

“We all got to meet here, shake hands, smile, joke, laugh and re­ally com­mu­ni­cate,” he said. “It’s been great.”

He slammed a fist into an open palm: “We are ab­so­lutely com­ing back with the gold this year, and I can’t wait to cel­e­brate on the road tour.”

As for this sea­son’s pro­mo­tions, Pandya prom­ises the team will con­tinue to fo­cus on the core as­pect of cricket, not for a minute for­get­ting, as he put it, “a solid en­ter­tain­ment line-up”. Af­ter all, in the Caribbean, cricket is more than just a sport; it is, by Pandya’s mea­sure, “an ex­pe­ri­ence”.

“When you go to cricket, the feel­ing you get is one of in­de­scrib­able ela­tion. You’re there for the sport, you’re there for fun, you’re there to share in the ex­cite­ment and to bask in the na­tional pride of the big­gest sports team on the is­land. It’s about the ex­pe­ri­ence; how you feel when you walk away. We want to make sure every­one walks away with a smile and heads held high where the stars re­side.”

Per­form­ers al­ready sched­uled for the muchan­tic­i­pated event in­clude Bar­ba­dian soca per­form­ers Fadda Fox, Lil Rick and Ed­win Year­wood, Saint Vin­cent’s Skinny Fab­u­lous, Saint Lu­cia’s groovy and power soca kings Arthur and Ricky T, as well as Ted­dyson John, not for­get­ting the Den­nery Seg­ment with Subance, Mis­sion Boys, and Black Boy! Play­ers are cur­rently on-is­land pre­par­ing for the matches. Fans can keep up with them by fol­low­ing @stlu­ci­as­tars on IG, Face­book and Twit­ter for per­for­mance up­dates, and other team news!

rec­tor of PR, with his cousin Ronak Pandya ar­les, Daren Sammy, and Shane Wat­son.

did a pan band, which the lo­cal steel in La­borie with their tour. The Stars team per­for­mance dur­ing spe­cial

with young crick­eters. Daren Sammy Team cap­tain

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