Boy I’m sure glad our girls didn’t end up winning the World T20.
Otherwise, the previous government’s decision not to support Barbados’ bid to host matches would look way worse than it already does.
I mean I’ve made some pretty bad choices in my life, like the time I was 20 and looked to capitalise on $1 drinks in Harbour Lights by trying to drink 20 straight rum and cokes.
But I’d like to think that even if someone was needlessly drinking they would still stumble upon the all too obvious and well-documented economic and social benefits that come with staging major sporting events.
Of course, seeing those 10 000 plus spectators at the Vivian Richards Stadium for a final that didn’t even feature the hosts only helps to make my point.
There are just too many reasons why Barbados needed to host the Women’s World T20 that governmental support for such a bid is the very definition of a no-brainer.
And our current economic situation is at the very top of the list.
Stop me if I’m wrong here but I am sure we could use an influx of foreign exchange right about now and that’s exactly what Barbados would’ve seen with all those cricketers, team staff, their families, fans, TV crews and journalists descending on the country.
Their stay wouldn’t have been short-lived either because the Barbados Cricket Association’s bid was for a preliminary zone, the semi-finals and final.
And I’d put my neck out to saythat bid would’ve been a successful one too considering the ICC had great success hosting the 2007 World Cup final here along with the men’s and women’s World T20 equivalents three years later.
So, if we include the warm-up matches then that’s three straight weeks of tourists doing nothing but spending money on these shores.
Now, former Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and his then Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley may argue that government stood to lose too much in terms of the waivers of all the taxes, immigrations and customs procedures they had to agree to in the memorandum of understanding.
Yet, I’m certain the country could’ve easily made that back in the amount of beer and rum consumed by the English and Aussies alone.
Even if that didn’t happen immediately, Barbados still stood to benefit down the road from this, which is called repeat tourism.
But for argument’s sake let’s say the government still didn’t think there were huge economic returns to be had, then at the very least the Women’s T20 had to be seen as a way for Kensington to recoup money.
We all know the Oval can’t sustain itself so wouldn’t you try to stage as many international events there considering those are the few times Kensington proves to be financially viable?
After all, the reason the Oval was redeveloped in the first place was for the purpose of Barbados having these types of major tournaments.
Worse yet, we missed a chance to showcase Bajans at the same Kensington Oval for a major tournament.
That’s right, no fewer than five home-grown talents are currently in that Windies side and we’re not talking about marginal players either.
Deandra Dottin, whose 38-ball century is the fastest in the women’s game, is arguably the world’s most exciting female cricketer while her opening partner Hayley Matthews was the 2016 World T20 final MVP and a former National Sports Personality of the Year.
Barbadian pacers Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell also open the bowling with Kycia Knight behind the stumps.
And that is not to mention coach Henderson Springer, assistant Roddy Estwick, analyst Garry Belle and physiotherapist Marita Marshall who are all Bajan.
On top of that, Barbados boasts of being the leading Caribbean country as it relates to women’s development yet the previous government didn’t see it necessary to capitalise on these five female cricketers playing on the biggest stage.
We have a female Governor-General, Director of Public Prosecutions and Prime Minister, who was the then Opposition Leader.
Wouldn’t it be fitting for us to stage the first standalone women’s World T20 tournament too?
I’m sure there are many more reasons why we should’ve hosted too, but I’m not going to kill someone for making this kind of decision.
I may just need 20 straight rum and cokes before I understand it. (JM)