Dehring bemoans Jamaica missing out on global showpiece
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC):
FORMER CRICKET executive Chris Dehring said his native Jamaica missed a huge opportunity to promote itself when the decision was taken to skip bidding to stage matches in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup next year in the Caribbean and the United States.
The former managing director of the ICC Men’s One-day International World Cup 2007 West Indies said he will not blame the Government of Jamaica solely for the missed opportunity because they were other stakeholders that needed to have stepped up.
“First, I am very disappointed because all the work that was put in 16 years ago, now is the time to take advantage of that work,” he said on the SportsMax Zone TV programme on Thursday.
“Whatever mistakes that were made in the past, you now have the opportunity to exploit what is a totally new paradigm in the world of cricket.
“It has been 16 years, and what has happened with cricket, T20 has been a paradigm shift. I don’t even like to talk about cricket in general. T20, in general, has been an inflexion point in the global explosion of the sport, the geographical explosion, the commercial explosion in the world of cricket.”
He added: “We are now looking at an opportunity that everybody else in the world seems to know something that we don’t know.
“I don’t know what it is, but when you see all those billionaires investing heavily in T20 specifically across the United States and in non-traditional countries such as Japan, China, Netherlands, and so on, somebody knows something, and it’s a pity that we clearly don’t know in Jamaica, and it would have been good to get that experience.”
The ICC announced last week that seven Caribbean countries, as well as three cities in the United States will host matches in the Men’s T20 World Cup.
The Caribbean countries selected are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago, and the three American cities are Dallas, Broward in the state of Florida, and New York.
Dehring said the Men’s T20 World Cup was a chance to invite some of the billionaires spending huge sums in T20 franchises around the world to the country and find out why they were making such huge investments in that form of the sport and position the country to benefit – but that opportunity was now lost.
“I am relieved we did not put in a last-minute bid because we had five years knowing (the Caribbean) was hosting this event to plan and to mobilise the kind of resources we need in terms of personnel and expertise… who could tell us how to exploit 30 million cricket fans in the United States with a per capita income of US$100 000,” the former chief marketing executive of West Indies Cricket Board (now Cricket West Indies) said.
Dehring said the country had collectively failed to see the big picture and needed to take responsibility, and prepare itself not to miss such an opportunity the next time.
“There are so many indicators out there, I don’t know what it means, but I know it means something big that all these billionaires are pumping massive amounts into this T20 (version),” he said.
“Cricket is returning to the Olympics in 2028 for the first time since 1896. Something is happening, and we need to find out. The Saudis, the Qataris are coming. I don’t know what’s happening, this is way above my pay grade, but we need to find out. We have an incredible history and still a brand in the world of cricket, and we need to make use of it.”
The Men’s T20 World Cup, to be played between June 4 and June 30, will have 20 teams playing a total of 55 matches across 10 venues.
It is the third time a men’s World Cup will be staged in the Caribbean, and the first time in 14 years, after the region previously staged the 2007 One-day International World Cup and the 2010 T20 World Cup.