Missed chance to host T20 World Cup matches disappointing for Brand Jamaica
In this file photo, Shai Hope (right) of West Indies drives as wicketkeeper MS Dhoni of India looks on during a One-Dat International match at Sabina Park.

There is consternation in some quarters with news emerging that Jamaica will not feature at all in the region's hosting of the 2024 International Cricket Council (ICC) Men's Twenty20 (T20) World Cup.

On Tuesday, Johnny Grave, the Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief executive officer, said that, while seven nations from the Caribbean submitted hosting bids, Jamaica was not among them.

"Jamaica didn't bid to host matches," Grave said in response to a text message query.

The CWI chief executive did not name host countries nor cities, but told the Jamaica Observer that "The ICC are hoping to announce the venues this month."

When contacted, the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) CEO Courtney Francis said the local body had done its part.

A section of Sabina Park cricket ground in Kingston, Jamaica

"The JCA has provided all the documentation which was requested and has submitted likewise. We are awaiting formal information from the state," he said.

The Observer has learnt that the JCA's documentation was delivered to the Prime Minister Andrew Holness-led Government months ago.

The recommendation was for the Jamaican Government to submit a bid for Sabina Park to host a group match and a semi-final fixture.

Up to press time on Tuesday, the Observer tried without success to get a response from Minister of Sport Olivia Grange despite several phone calls to her contact number. There was no reply to questions sent via e-mail.

GRAVE...Jamaica didn't bid to host matches (Photo: Observer file)

Chris Dehring, who was chief executive officer of the 2007 50-over Cricket World Cup staged in the Caribbean, rued the missed opportunity.

"It is majorly disappointing on several levels that Jamaica is not one of the venues for next year's T20 World Cup," he said.

Since November 2021, when Cricket West Indies (CWI) and United States Cricket were named co-hosts of the 2024 global T20 showpiece, there had been high level of anticipation across the region.

Jamaica is a premier tourist destination with world-renowned hotel infrastructure. Its geographic location in the northern Caribbean offers favourable proximity to joint hosts United States.

FRANCIS...the JCA has provided all the documentation which was requested.

In addition, Sabina Park in Kingston is one of the region's most historic cricket venues.

The Observer has learnt that the deadline for bid submissions had twice been extended since May. And the hope had been that the extensions would have given the Jamaican Government more time to bid.

Earlier this year, ICC representatives inspected Sabina Park as a match host, along with other venues which were earmarked for training purposes. It is said they reported the total cost to bring all the venues up to the required standard was approximately US$1 million.

Additionally, the cost associated with Jamaica's bid was said to be just over US$1 million.

GRANGE... could not be contacted up to press time on Tuesday (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Since emerging from the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the message from the Jamaican Government had been that the country has since enjoyed remarkable economic recovery. That often-repeated position had led some cricket stakeholders in Jamaica to believe the Government was primed to bid for hosting 2024 T20 World Cup matches with hopes of achieving returns on investment.

But with Jamaica missing out on not just the cricketing exposure of the T20 World Cup, but also the potential financial rewards linked to a streamlined sports tourism thrust, a picture of the fall-out is already being painted.

Dehring said hosting World Cup matches would have provided a much-needed boost for the sport.

"From CWI/ICC's perspective, Jamaica is well placed geographically and blessed with the airlift and accommodations to make the logistics of co-hosting with the US less challenging.

"For WI cricket, it was an opportunity to begin the rebuilding of the sport in the country with half the population resource of the region," the former cricket executive explained. is majorly disappointing on several levels that Jamaica is not one of the venues for next year's T20 World Cup.
Sanjay Myers

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