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Tuesday 19 June 2018
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Shaky bid for Women’s World Cup

West Indies women’s team celebrate the ICC World T20 title last year in India.

The West Indies will host the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 Championship with the regional team led by Jamaican Stafanie Taylor looking to defend their title.

The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) is keen on bidding for a package to host group matches as well as the semi-final and final but is yet to get the support of the Government.

A meeting was held among stakeholders recently including Sport Company Chairman Dinanath Ramnarine, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs, Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Tourism, hotel providers, stadium owners (Queen’s Park and Brian Lara Academy), and the local cricket board.

According to a TTCB press release, “At the meeting the TTCB presented the pertinent information in relation to service providers within the different sectors” and was expecting that quotations be sent by Tuesday so that the final bid can be prepared and submitted by the deadline today.

“The TTCB bid (if successful) is likely to cost the government around TT$1m (half for group stage matches and half for semifinals and finals) with various guarantees and waivers expected,” the TTCB released stated.

It is the latter particulars that has former West Indies player Dinanath Ramnarine’s head spinning.

Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Ramnarine acknowledged being in constant conversation with TTCB Executive Member Baldath Mahabir, but says he is unsure of what the final cost of hosting will be for TT, given the current economic climate.

“My understand is that a bid is going to go but whether they’re going to meet all the requirements, I don’t know...I don’t think that ($1 million) is a fair assessment of the cost. There are many hidden costs, I don’t think the TTCB can evaluate that. When you count customs, immigration, taxes, you can only base that by providing numbers. I have not seen that data. I think that $1million is highly conservative, it might be significantly higher. The one cost they would have provided is the US$75,000 that has to be a guarantee as part of the bid. Then they’re asking waiver of all taxes, customs (fee), security and so on.

Ramnarine said the Sport Company fully supports the women’s game, noting that they allowed free use of the Lara Academy earlier this year for the West Indies vs Sri Lanka series and also made a cash donation towards its hosting.

He revealed a report to Sports Minister Darryl Smith has been submitted detailing the pros and cons of hosting the tournament.

“Many times countries are left paying huge sums of money hosting these events,” he said, citing the 2007 ICC World Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Ramnarine said the uncertainty of what the final cost would be for TT has left them in a difficult position on making a decision on the feasibility of bidding for a package.

The TTCB believes, however, the country will benefit tremendously from hosting matches.

“The return on the investment though is significant given that at least five teams will be hosted in TT for a minimum of 10 days with a minimum guarantee of at least 175 hotel rooms being booked for the respective teams during the group stage hosting period. That figure can be increased to another five days if TT is granted the semi finals and final.

“At least 104 additional rooms will be required for match officials and media personnel along with the TV Production and broadcast crews. In addition to the hotel rooms, the event will provide employment for at least 300 persons directly along with service providers and other suppliers thereby ensuring that government’s investment will realize a handsome return. The T20 World Cup also offers the opportunity to showcase TT to the world as over 180 million fans watched the 2017 ICC Women’s 50/50 tournament. The tournament will also create the opportunity for valuable foreign exchange to enter the economy, thereby assisting in stimulating the economy through cricket.”

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