The Jamaican government opted not to submit a bid to host matches at next year’s T20 cricket World Cup following a “robust” cost/benefit analysis, says Sports Minister Olivia Grange.
She made the statement in a release Saturday that sought to explain the rationale behind the government’s controversial decision that has been slammed by some industry stakeholders as “anti-cricket”.
On Thursday, International Cricket Council (ICC) announced seven venues in the Caribbean which are to join the three in the United States to stage matches at the T20 showpiece June 4-30, 2024. As first reported in the Jamaica Observer earlier this month, no Jamaican venue is on the ICC's list.
“We had been considering the cost and source of funding of nearly half a billion dollars to host a few games in Jamaica,” Grange stated in the release.
“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,” she continued. “It was a robust exercise in which we considered different permutations including the option not to bid.”
Grange said at the end of the consultations with stakeholders, it was agreed that Jamaica should prioritise investing in developing cricket from the grassroots to the high performance levels over putting in a formal bid.
“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,” Grange said.
“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,” she added.
The sports minister announced that the Jamaican Government will invest J$100 million in the development of youth cricket and cricket in schools over the next five years as the country, she said, seeks to play its part in “fixing West Indies Cricket”.
“This is in addition to our ambitious plan for the rehabilitation and development of Jamaica’s sports infrastructure,” Grange said, adding that her ministry “will continue discussions with stakeholders about bringing international cricket to Jamaica in the near future.”
The 2024 T20 World Cup matches are set for Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia, Dominica, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. The named US venues are located in Texas, New York and Florida.