Sticking with the Tallawahs - Jamaican Government commits support to Tallawahs despite CPL failures
The Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport says they will continue to give their backing to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchise, the Jamaica Tallawahs, despite a topsy-turvy 2020 season.
The Tallawahs, despite getting to the semi-finals of the curtailed 2020 edition of the CPL in Trinidad, faced mounting off-the-field issues before the tournament. Those issues, coupled with an indifferent performance on the field, saw the Jamaican franchise winning just three of their 10 games contested. The team, which won titles in 2013 and 2016, also struggled last season, finishing in last place after only two wins in 10 games.
These performances have led to questions in some quarters over whether or not the Tallawahs, which is owned by Florida-based businessman Kris Persaud, should still benefit from government funds.
For Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, the partnership between the Government and the Jamaican franchise is one that will bring about a holistic development of the sport in the country.
“The Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is committed to the holistic development of sport in Jamaica at all levels. The growth in competitive cricket in its various form is of great interest to the ministry and has the ministry’s support,” said Grange.
Despite the regression, the Government, which has contributed an average of $1.2 million to the franchise each year, from 2015 to 2018, believes the Tallawahs still provided value for money.
That contribution increased in 2017 to $3 million, while in 2019, the Government handed over another $4.6 million to assist with the hosting of matches in Jamaica.
Apart from the cash contribution towards the hosting of the matches, the ministry, through the Sports Development Foundation (SDF), facilitated the importation of goods and equipment for the matches. Tickets valued at $1,297,000 were also purchased by the SDF.
Additionally, the Jamaica Tourist Board was one of the main sponsors of the franchise, and it is through that initiative that Grange believes the Tallawahs can help to promote Brand Jamaica as a viable sports tourism destination.
“The partnership between the MCGES and the Jamaica Tallawahs is seen as an integral component, not just for the promotion of Jamaica as a sport tourism destination, but the development of the sport. T20 cricket is now one of the largest sports products around the world, given the party-like atmosphere it provides and the general entertainment value of this format of the game,” Grange said.
“Wherever it is played, loyal fans, and those who were not previously attracted to the game alike, seem to be easily excited by the atmosphere. The ministry is firm in its drive to position Jamaica as a leading sports tourism destination, and so we see this as an opportunity to capitalise on the partnership,” Grange added.