Wed | Jul 17, 2019

JCA targets technical, financial growth

Published:Thursday | December 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMRachid Parchment/ Sports News Coordinator
President of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) W. Billy Heaven (left) makes a point during a Gleaner Editors’ Forum on Tuesday at The Gleaner’s offices. Looking on (second left to right) are Courtney Francis (CEO, JCA); Junior Bennett (chairman of selectors, JCA); Phillip Service (technical development officer, JCA); and Oneil Cruickshank (cricket operations manager, JCA).
Fans look on during the Hero Caribbean Premier League match between Jamaica Tallawahs and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Sabina Park on August 15, 2018.

Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) president Wilford 'Billy' Heaven says that the systems of accountability and transparency that his board has put in place will drive the body forward in achieving its 10 year plan for the growth of the sport in the country. Heaven was speaking at an Editors' Forum hosted by The Gleaner at its headquarters on North Street in Kingston on Tuesday and said that this 10-year plan, started in 2013, has two separate arms - the technical development of local players and coaches, and making the JCA a more viable business entity.

The JCA has a number of ventures it is seeking to implement within this time frame to improve local cricketing infrastructure and player welfare, but these are costly measures, especially without enough sponsorship partners. This is why the JCA has heeded the advice of the Jamaica Olympic Association, in improving its business model to start earning more funds on its own.

"We have to view cricket as a game on one hand and cricket as a business on the other," Heaven pointed out. "They both depend on each other for survival and success."


Process of formalisation


Heaven said that he is taking pride in the formalising of the governance structure of the JCA.

"When we took over the JCA, we were about 16 years behind in terms of filing our returns and paying our taxes," he said. "We are presently current in all of that. We have paid our taxes and we have filed all our returns, so we are compliant with the laws of Jamaica.

"That is important because it lends itself to sponsors. We can present them with audited financial statements, which is good for every company to have, outside of what it may bring you, for your own governance."

"We believe that by 2023, the JCA will be, maybe, 80 or 90 per cent self- sufficient and sustainable," Heaven further outlined. "We're looking at programmes at the JCA that will make income generation less dependent on the public purse and sponsors and more dependent on our own initiative at income streams that we are providing."

Heaven mentioned the floodlights installed at Sabina Park, in Kingston in 2014, saying that this was a significant project to the association. The installation allowed for the hosting of night-time activities such as Caribbean Premier League matches, local and international football matches, and parties, which all generate income for Sabina Park Holdings (SPH), which is equally owned by the JCA and the Kingston Cricket Club (KCC).

Heaven said that the venue earns $2 million to $4 million per year, but the JCA's objective is to meet its earning potential, which he estimated was in the $40 million to $50 million a year region.