Politics will not dictate venues, says Grave

Politics will not dictate venues, says Grave

Saturday, January 25, 2020

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief executive, Johnny Grave, believes territorial politics should have no bearing on the regional governing body's allocation of international matches.

Speaking following the recent white-ball series against Ireland, the Englishman said CWI's current policy was geared towards ensuring that all Caribbean countries benefited from the international home series for both men's and women's fixtures.

However, he said it was important that CWI maximised its marketing thrust, especially at some venues, in order to increase attendance.

“I want to take all the politics out of the decision-making when it comes to allocating games,” Grave told the Mason and Guest cricket radio show here.

“The highest crowds we experienced in this series was in Grenada — Grenada didn't have cricket between 2015 and 2019, and I think it is important we spread cricket around our international grounds.

“I think we need to do far more as an organisation to promote and market to make sure all the cricket fans and even the non-cricket fans know that the West Indies teams are coming to their country to play.”

He added: “I certainly hope the board continues to support the policy where every international ground will get either a Test match or two — either T20s or ODIs or combination of every single year.

“I hope everyone understands that policy and we do our best to spread cricket around the region.”

The Ireland series comprising One-Day Internationals (ODI) and Twenty20 Internationals — the first international home series this year — was played across Barbados, Grenada, and St Kitts.

When New Zealand arrive in July, the white-ball series will be hosted in Antigua, Dominica, and Guyana, with Trinidad and Tobago, St Lucia, and Jamaica staging matches on South Africa's full tour of the Caribbean in July and August.

Last year West Indies hosted England in a signature series of Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals which was expected to inject up to US$20 million into CWI's coffers, making up for a massive shortfall the previous year.

And with a new broadcast deal currently being hammered out, Grave hoped this can further stabilise CWI's finances and continue to fund crucial development tournaments.

“We're still in the final [stages] of negotiating our broadcasting contracts throughout the world and clearly the success of those or otherwise will determine our business plan over the next three to four years,” he explained.

“We will have to make tough choices and tough decisions but we don't anticipate at this stage that any of our plans around the tournaments to be affected at all.”

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