MEMBERS of the sporting fraternity, both locally and regionally, sent their best wishes to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) as the country battles to keep its citizens safe after the La Soufriere volcano erupted on Friday morning.

Residents living close to the volcano were ordered to evacuate.

Prime Minister of SVG Dr Ralph Gonsalves, a huge supporter of West Indies cricket, was brought to tears when he said that Caricom countries have offered to help.

A Cricket West Indies (CWI) release said CWI "stands with the Government and people of St Vincent and the Grenadines at this very challenging time of national disaster,

“We have yesterday (Thursday) sent a note of solidarity, in care of our CWI vice-president Dr Kishore Shallow, to the several current and past West Indian cricketers who reside in SVG.”

Shallow, who is Vincentian, has been the CWI vice-president since 2019, working alongside president Ricky Skerritt.

“On behalf of the cricket family of the West Indies, CWI extends our prayers for our Vincentian brothers and sisters in the midst of this emergency,” the release added.

Many cricketers from St Vincent have represented West Indies. They include Alphonso Roberts, Nixon McLean, Cameron Cuffy, Sunil Ambris, Kesrick Williams and Obed McCoy. McCoy, a left-arm fast bowler, represented the West Indies earlier this year in a T20 series against Sri Lanka in Antigua.

McCoy shared his thoughts on Twitter, saying, “Praying for sweet SVG.”

Barbadian cricketer Keon Harding tweeted, “Praying everyone in SVG will be safe.”

The West Indies Players Association tweeted, “We wish the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines safety and strength in this difficult time.”

President of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) Brian Lewis said in a WhatsApp Voice Note sent to the media, “On behalf of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee and the entire Caribbean Olympic movement I extend our best wishes, our thoughts and prayers to our colleagues in the St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee and Olympic movement, their stakeholders and the wider people and communities in SVG. (I express) our best wishes and you have our support, our prayers and thoughts.”

Lewis is also the president of the TT Olympic Committee.

Naasira Mohammed, media and content officer at CWI, tweeted, “My Lord, I ask that You protect the ppl of SVG. Guide to safety those who have to leave. Grant them strength, courage and patience to get through this. Shield with Your protection and mercy the remaining citizens. Calm the forces of nature and guide everyone through this. Amen.”