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No money, No cricket!!!
Sometimes…a little is a lot to some…however sometimes that limited thinking can have a negative impact on the future. In the Caribbean…in cricket…in West Indies cricket, this limitation is symbolised by the abject neglect by the majority of the world’s spectators into West Indies cricket.
While, the West Indies Cricket Board, in their various incarnations, speak about the appeal of West Indies cricket, and the glowing future, following a triumvirate of success in 2016, that has not resulted in money being splashed out to watch our players on the field.
A report on ESPN Cric Info website states as follows,” the WICB receives around $15.8m per year for its TV rights. England’s rights just sold for £1.1b (approximately $1.45b) for the four years of 2020-24, India’s IPL TV and title rights for about $2.9b, with the rights to Indian cricket to come next year.
Such is the financial power of the IPL, the English summer must now yield to its window or risk its own players disappearing through it.
This is very significant, because for all the money that the current management team of West Indies cricket beat their small chests on, it is evident by the disparity listed above, what a difference, winning and being successful means in terms of Television rights, which is where the “Big Money” is in cricket.
The people of the region, need to ask questions on this, and need to know if the West Indies Board understand that every year, as our team continues to struggle, so our marketability will decline and with it the ultimate, that people will not pay subscribers all over the world to watch a bunch of West Indies mimic men bat and bowl with no chance of success.
So the point is that youngsters in the Caribbean are being denied a chance to improve themselves with training, facilities and overseas tours, when there is less money being obtained from TV rights because of the parlous state of our cricket.
Eventually our returns from television rights will soon be in single digits, while the rest of the world moves ahead, not qualifying automatically for the last two major world events (Champions Trophy in England and World Cup in 2019).
So unless, those at the Board can put their personal arrogance to the side, there will be no respite to the failed appeal of West Indies cricket.
Some believe that the reason amnesty is a step in the right direction, and truthfully it is both long overdue and correct. The problem is the “term” of the amnesty, as to over what period, and when will it cease, as amnesty normally has a limited existence.
Perhaps the lack of monetary support, the lack of recognition by many at ICC meetings can change the behaviour of the Board, otherwise there is no hope for the future.
Given the continued embarrassment being suffered by the West Indian public, let us all hope that good sense will prevail.
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