Heaven: We could not afford Women's T20 World Cup
President of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) Billy Heaven said on Friday that they could not afford the cost to bid for matches in November's ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup to be played in the Caribbean.
The first-ever, stand-alone Women's T20 event to be played in Guyana, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda will see 23 matches being played from November 9-24.
The Windies Women's final squad has not been named but it is expected to include Jamaicans Stafanie Taylor, the team's captain, and Chedean Nation, who have been regulars for the defending champions. The squad could also include Natasha McLean, Chinelle Henry and Vanessa Watts.
"The reality is, as with any male team coming here (Caribbean), the territories are now expected to bid for matches and that comes with a cost. When we looked at the women's tournament, we could not afford it," said Heaven.
"It is not reasonable to ask the Government to fund these things. I do not believe in that. It would cost the JCA what we don't have because we had established some programmes before that we are obligated to fund, and we could not set those back at the time. So it was purely a matter of cost and not that we don't want our women to play here," he added.
When asked about the benefits to sports tourism of Jamaica hosting such a venture, Heavens noted that extensive research must first go into it before it is even mentioned.
"Every time a team or a country is to come here (Caribbean) to play, you hear this argument about sports tourism and all of this. We need to quantify what benefit it is to the economy. If it is of no real benefit to the economy, I couldn't ask the Government to fund it ... ," said Heaven, who believes a proper mechanism to highlight the benefits must be put in place ahead of the promotion of these events.
"We would work and support any initiative to establish that (research), because as you know, this has come up time and time again. You need credible data to determine that (benefits) ... . We cannot approach sponsors without satisfying them that these are the benefits that you (sponsors) will get from whatever we are promoting," he concluded.