In the aftermath of the Government’s decision not to submit a bid to host matches in the 2024 men’s T20 World Cup, Sports Minister Olivia Grange has revealed the nation’s blueprint for advancing cricket development.
These strategies emerge in the wake of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) announcement of the seven Caribbean nations that will host matches in the T20 World Cup, which will be played between June 4-30, and is co-hosted by West Indies and the USA.
The seven countries selected to host matches include Antigua, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago.
In addition to the seven countries in the Caribbean, three cities in the USA – Dallas, Florida, and New York – would be hosting the World Cup, which ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said in a media release, on Friday, makes it the “biggest” T20 World Cup “ever.”
In a media release on Saturday, Minister Grange said the Government had evaluated the substantial cost, approximately half a billion dollars, required to host a limited number of games in Jamaica.
The evaluation, Minister Grange said, involved a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis involving stakeholders. Factors considered included the economic, social, and developmental impacts, including potential tourism-related effects and related industry benefits. She said, year-over-year economic modeling was used to assess these impacts against current tourism performance.
Minister Grange said that the decision-making process was extensive, considering various scenarios, including the option of not submitting a bid.
In the media release, Minister Grange said that after consultations with stakeholders, it was collectively agreed that Jamaica should prioritize investment in the grassroots and high-performance levels of cricket over making a formal bid.
“It was not an easy decision and I very much understand and share the disappointment of fans who wanted to see T20 World Cup games being played in Jamaica,” Minister Grange explained in the media release. “However, I could not just follow my heart. As a responsible Minister, I am obliged to look beyond immediate gratification to sustainable sport development that will yield immeasurable rewards at all levels in Jamaica. I had to pay attention to the cost/benefit analysis, especially in a circumstance of limited resources.
“In order to play our part in, hopefully in the not too distant future, fixing West Indies cricket, we will prioritise investment in the local game.
“In this regard, and further to discussion with the Minister of Finance, I announce today that the Government will invest J$100m in the development of youth cricket and cricket in schools over the next five years.
“This is in addition to our ambitious plan for the rehabilitation and development of Jamaica’s sports infrastructure.
“The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport will continue discussions with stakeholders about bringing international cricket to Jamaica in the near future.”