Nov 12, 2008 Sports
Historic Radio coverage for President’s Cup cricket in Guyana
By Sean Devers
There will be unprecedented radio coverage of three matches simultaneously when the President’s Cup regional one-day cricket competition bowls off in Guyana tomorrow as Barbadian based Line & Length Incorporated partners with the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) and Guyana’s National Communications Network (NCN) to provide ball-by-ball commentary of the matches to 17 stations in the region.
Barry Wilkinson, Managing Director of Line & Length Inc yesterday disclosed at a media conference at NCN Studios that for the first time three commentary panels will be set up in a single country to broadcast the games live.
“Last year some (CMC) member stations acquired the rights to broadcast regional cricket but did not carry games resulting in many fans in the region not being able to follow their team’s progress on radio,” Wilkinson, a leading Barbadian Sports journalist, explained.
Wilkinson, who hosts the popular Line & Length TV cricket show in Barbados, revealed that he and International cricket commentator Barbadian Andrew Mason joined forces after the poor coverage of regional cricket last year and formulated a proposal for more coverage of the game across the region.
Wilkinson said the proposal was given favorable consideration by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) resulting in plans to mount three commentary teams to cover the President’s Cup which includes a record teams participating at the same time in a single nation.
“The WICB has been very supportive with sponsorship to help set up two commentary panels while NCN will select their own team to cover the Guyana matches,” Wilkinson disclosed.
Mason is in charge of selecting the teams for the two other matches while several of the region’s top comments personalities will be in Guyana along with some of the leading ball-by-ball commentators.
“The late confirmation of this project prevented some of the well known names from being a part of our team but this also gives some of the younger commentators the opportunity to gain exposure,” Mason pointed out.
“Roger Harper, Mark Harper, Maurice Foster, Cardigan Conner Colin Croft are some of the established names on our team while Reon King and Roddy Lovell will get an opportunity to be heard. Guyana’s Sean Devers, Inderjeet Persaud and Naim Chan will also be used mount three radio teams,” Mason added.
Also at yesterday’s media conference were Guyana Cricket Board President Chetram Singh, Terry Holder and GCB’s Marketing Manager Ramsay Ali.
Singh said that Guyana has lots of experience hosting regional competitions adding that although no country has had to host nine teams at the same in a regional tournament, everything is in place for a successful tournament.
The competition will be without the ‘big name’ players who will be on West Indies duty and Ali disclosed that while filling the venues could be a challenging task without the star players and the late confirmation that the unsponsored tournament would be played in Guyana. He however explained that elaborate Marketing plans are in place including regularly updated commercials in both the print and electronic media promoting the series.
“A new set of commercials will be done for the semi-finals and it is hoped that with the final four being played under lights for the first time in Guyana, large crowds will come out to support the games,” Ali stated.
Singh said all of the eight teams will be in Guyana by today and said all the match and practice venues have been checked and approved by the GCB.
Singh, also a WICB Director said that while most of the games will be played during the week and the first rest day is a Sunday which is not the best thing to attract crowds, it was the WICB and not the GCB who set the fixtures after taking into consideration the cost to run the competition without a sponsor.
Singh also revealed that the WICB will not receive any of the US$3.5 million from the Stanford Super series in Antigua since Sir Allen Stanford has withdrawn his offer to the WICB for the next three years after the WICB lost their legal battle with Team Sponsor Digicel.
All of the games will begin at 09:15hrs instead of the usual 09:30hrs to compensate for the early sunset at this time of the year in Guyana.
NCN also announced that the state owned entity is now offering advertisers spots instead of segments which should increase their revenue through sponsorship of the commentary. NCN will also bring live Radio and TV coverage of the West Indies one-day series in Abu Dhabi starting with the first game from 06:30hrs today.
The President’s Cup regional series commences tomorrow with host Guyana facing the Combined Colleges and Campuses at Providence, defending champions Jamaica battling Barbados at Bourda and Canada taking on the Leeward Islands at Everest. Admission to all of the matches including the semi-finals and final is G$500.
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