'It was not an easy decision' not to bid to host T20 World Cup - Grange
Sports minister Olivia Grange says while 'it was not an easy decision' to forego putting in a formal bid for the T20 World Cup, the Government felt it was more worthwhile to prioritise investing in developing local cricket from the grassroots.
She announced in a media release on Saturday that the Government will invest $100 million in the development of youth cricket and cricket in schools over the next five years. She said this was in addition to the rehabilitation and development of Jamaica's sports infrastructure.
She said it would have cost nearly half a billion dollars to host a few games in Jamaica.
"In our cost/benefit analysis with stakeholders, we also considered the economic, social and development impact, including the potential tourism-related impact and attendant industry benefits using year-over-year economic modelling, reconciled against current tourism performance," the sports minister stated.
However, Grange said at the end of the consultations with stakeholders it was decided that funding the development of local cricket would be a better spend.
"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. 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," Grange said.
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