Apr 21, 2016 Sports
Georgetown, Guyana – Following Minister of Education, with the responsibility for sport Dr. Rupert
Roopnarine confirming on Tuesday that Guyana will be hosting the finals of the 2016 Hero Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament, additional details have been forthcoming when Minister of Natural Resources in his capacity as Government Spokesman, Raphael Trotman, at a Post- Cabinet Briefing responded to questions on the arrangement brokered.
Minister Trotman in responding to questions posed began his response by giving the genesis of the negotiations.
He said, “When we assumed office we were told that there was an outstanding bill of half a million dollars (US$500,000) which no documentation could readily be provided for. Through intervention made from overseas, a group of ministers and others met with a CPL team late last year.
We managed to arrive at what we believe is a settlement, because even though there was no documentation to support the claim of US$500,000 being owed, we believe in the interest of cricket and in the interest of good relations and …the future of the sport, that we should come to an amicable resolution, so we decided it would be paid in tranches and also what I think was attractive to the government was the fact that the CPL organisation or organisers extended to us the offer of hosting the final, semifinals and four (other) games here,” the minister explained.
He further elaborated that the decision to host part of the popular Caribbean T20 cricket tournament here was to tie in with Guyana’s 50th Anniversary Jubilee celebrations and the costs was over one and a half million US dollars.
“In our Jubilee year we believe it would be a good fillip to the celebrations and the initial request was in excess of US$2M and we are still to confirm, but the last figure I know of was on or about US$1.5M, that’s the package, but the Minister of Finance (Winston Jordan) is to conclude the discussions and negotiations with the CPL organisers. But suffice it to say we are doing everything possible to bring the games to Guyana,” he disclosed.
Questioned on the soundness of the investment to host the games here, Minister Trotman stated, “We believe, for the reasons I stated, this is our jubilee year, cricket of course, given the West Indies teams, the three teams glorious feats, we believe that having cricket here, having international stars in Guyana, just the festive mood would be a good injection to our economy. Sometimes you can’t put a dollar value to…the strengthening of cricket in the Caribbean. It has taken a beating and we believe this tournament being held in Guyana will not only serve Guyana’s purposes but also the Caribbean’s.”
Kaieteur Sport had attempted to get details on the arrangement on Tuesday and Permanent Secretary Alfred King, while confirming the hosting of CPL games here when contacted, had informed that the agreement involves a three year deal with the final being hosted here. He could not give figures.
While Minister Trotman gave a ‘ball park’ costing, the final total is still to be worked out and disclosed by Finance Minister Winston Jordan subsequently.
Trinidad and Tobago had invested US$2.5M to host the final last year and based on the disclosures by Trotman the cost would be in that vicinity. Initial reports had stated that the CPL organisers were asking for US$4.5M (G$932.4million) for the award of the final-four. Minister Trotman’s disclosures have pegged that figure as less.
Several persons have come forward to question the soundness of investing that sum of money on hosting CPL, when it could be better spent on upgrading current sports facilities and also assisting many sports organisation to function better. While the questions and debates will rage, it will be seen in due course whether this decision, in the initial stage and long term, is beneficial to Guyana and the economy at large.
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