Keacy Carty gets a fitting hero’s welcome

POSTED: 02/19/16 5:06 PM

keacy_cartySt. Maarten News – After arriving on the ATR-72, to the special reception in the VIP Hall at the Princess Juliana International Airport followed by a tremendous greeting in the arrival hall and finally driven away in an Audi A8 in a mini motorcade has marked the turning point in the life of Keacy Carty, a national hero.

Carty who was propelled into the spotlight after playing the leading role for the West Indies U-19 team that defeated India in the ICC U-19 World Cup finals is certainly the man of the moment at home as well as other parts of the cricketing world

Hundreds of cricket supporters as well as family members and fans loyal to the game of cricket made a special effort to be a part of a historic moment as they anxiously awaited his presence in the arrival hall at the PJIA.

Not even Carty could have imagined himself practically rubbing shoulders with high ranking ministers of the government including Prime Minister William Marlin when he was ushered into the VIP Hall shortly after his arrival shortly after 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening.

His mere presence after the formal part of his greeting ceremony had an effect and there were shouts for Keacy, Keacy, Keacy that revrebrated in the building, when he finally made his presence it was met by hundreds of smiling faces.

From the expression on his face, he was certainly lost for words, but while clutching the national flag which he was presented with earlier, Carty proceeded to embrace and exchange hand shakes with those that were closer to him.

A semblance of calm was returned when Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs addressed the huge gathering briefly. “We are honored to have a son of the soil who was the man of the match and St. Maarten will see how we appreciate our own. I have to thank all those who came out here tonight, this is awesome, and this is beyond awesome.”

Still in shock and trying to come to grips with the reality, Carty did have something to say in his brief remarks to the gathering. “Honestly people, I am a bit nervous, but it’s nice to see St Maarten supporting me in the tournament and in general and I would like to thank all the people who came here,” he said.

With the prime minister in the midst of things, it was the perfect time to pose the most important question that has been on the minds of many for a number of years. Taking some time to gather his thoughts and bearing that ever present smile on his face, he agreed to respond.

“I think first of all, we have to put things into perspective, congratulations are in order big time because what Carty has done, no other St. Maartener has ever done before. Participating in a World Cup, being on the winning end and ending up as the man of the match. It may not happen again in my lifetime, but I hope that he has planted that seed to encourage more and more young men and women to strive for excellence,” Prime Minister Marlin stated.

According to Marlin, Carty has proven to all the people on St. Maarten as well as those in the rest of the world that tiny St. Maarten can produce players that not only play for the West Indies, but also lead them to a world championship at such a young age.

“He has a bright future ahead and we can expect a lot more coming out of him because what he has done is to open the door to many others. But he will now find himself under pressure because he has a standard to live up to because if you are the man of the match at such an important tournament, all eyes will be glued on him in future events.

As far as the cricket stadium is concerned, it only solidifies what we as a Government have stood for and it has been a part of our platforms that St. Maarten needs a professional cricket stadium so that the sport can continue to grow on this island.” Prime Minister Marlin pointed out.

He also extended his heartfelt thanks to Carty and his parents on behalf of the people of St Maarten for what he has done for St. Maarten, its people and the government.

“It’s because you have done us proud and brought the name of St Maarten to international acclaim throughout the world. We have been on CNN, on ESPN, we have been mentioned all over in newspapers and countries that have never heard about St. Maarten before, know about us now.

More importantly, you have set a goal and you have accomplished that at such a young age and you are now an example to the rest of the young cricketers, to the rest of the young athletes because if you can do it, they can do it also.”

In closing, Prime Minister Marlin also thanked Carty for being a positive example as a young player who started his career at a tender age on a field that is nowhere close to the stadiums that exists in rest of the Caribbean.

“You were able to with the assistance of your father and with people like Imran Mc Sood Amjad, a man that has put endless hours and money into it along with that of many others who give their time to come out and coach young men like you.”

Minister Jacobs took the opportunity to thank the parents of our hero, Keith and Angela Carty along with the Cricket St. Maarten Management team. I am overwhelmed, I know he is too.” She added.

Cricket fans will be afforded another opportunity to see the boy that helped to put St. Maarten more prominently on the map of the sporting world during a special event that will take place on the Caribe Lumberball Park starting at 4.pm and that event will conclude with a motorcade through the streets.

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