Grange underscores commitment to cricket
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, said the Ministry did its best to give support to the Jamaica Tallawahs team.
In a statement on Thursday, Grange said her Ministry “sought to provide special support to the Tallawahs at the level that our funds would permit.”
Grange said her Ministry also provided cash, paid for services, as well as coordinated services across the Government of Jamaica to facilitate the Tallawahs. She shared that cumulatively, her Ministry’s Sports Division and the Sports Development Foundation provided direct cash payments of J$13 million to the Jamaica Tallawahs, including the purchase of tickets for matches, between 2015 and 2019.
The Minister also disclosed that the government incurred significant direct costs as it worked to facilitate the Tallawahs.
Minister Grange was speaking at the handing over ceremony of 90 cricket kits from the Government of India to the Jamaica Cricket Association at the High Commission of India and represented the remainder of the 100 cricket kits promised to Jamaica by the Indian President, His Excellency Ram Nath Kovind, during his visit to the island in May 2022. The President had presented 10 kits during his visit.
According to the Minister’s statement, the Sports Development Foundation undertook the cost for the importation of goods and equipment needed for use during cricket matches. Grange also revealed that her Ministry also undertook the cost for various licenses and fees including for television broadcasts as well as forged partnerships with the Jamaica Urban Transit Company to provide transport service to the Tallawahs and with the Jamaica Tourist Board to market the team.
“We did our best to give support to the Tallawahs. The Tallawahs bear our country’s name, but are not a national team, and are therefore not covered in the yearly allocations to the Jamaica Cricket Association. However, we have sought to provide special support to the Tallawahs at the level that our funds will permit.”
Minister Grange added that in order to provide more funding to the Tallawahs, the budget would have to be cut for other sports.
“It is estimated that the Tallawahs require US$1 million each year—or more than J$150 million; but in order to give them more we would have to cut funding to the more than 40 National Sports Federations, such as football, netball, track and field, who depend on government to run their programmes and have been requesting additional sums — which we are challenged to provide.”