THE SCORE: Contrast in crowds
THOSE OF US in the sporting fraternity got a chance to see two contrasting levels of organization by different administrators for the separate finals in cricket and football at Kensington Oval on Saturday and Sunday.
The first was the Sagicor General Super Cup final, which spanned both Saturday and Sunday while the second event was the unsponsored but Government-funded David Thompson Memorial Constituency Councils’ Classic.
There is a saying that what you sow you will reap and the upshot of this year’s poorly promoted Super Cup final was a record low attendance on either day.
It was probably the worst ever final in terms of attendance in the 39-year history of the competition, which dates back to 1975 with fewer than 100 spectators in the 3Ws Stand when the match was completed on Sunday.
Maybe, cricket fans weren’t aware that the final was being held on a Saturday and was starting as early as 9:30 a.m.
to boot. They would’ve certainly been caught off guard the following day as Cup finals are not normally continued but replayed as the rules and regulations of the competition stipulate.
Moreso, very few fans would have realised that the same final was completed on Sunday after rain prematurely ended play with CGI Maple having just started their pursuit of eventual champions LIME’s total of 189.
I am still trying to fathom why the Barbados Cricket Association, through its Sagicor Cup Committee would’ve opted for a Saturday morning event in the first place.
It would have been wiser to stage a day and night cricket final, starting around 3 p.m. and ending around 10:30 p.m., preferably on a Sunday when the Second Division and Intermediate finals, weren’t being played.
This would have allowed prospective spectators to do their early Saturday house chores like washing, cooking and cleaning, as well as shopping which is commonplace at this yuletide time of the year, before coming to cricket.
Then on Sunday afternoon, it was the complete opposite as the king of sport lost its crown. Thousands of spectators, young and old, converged on Kensington Oval to see the grand showdown between the constituencies of Christ Church East Central and St Michael South East, free of cost.
That aside, the promotion of the two events were like chalk and cheese as well as the presentation ceremonies which followed with those in charge of the football final way ahead of their cricket counterparts.
With the benefit of the electronic media through the use of the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) TV 8 Channel and newspaper advertisements to publicise its product, there was a national awareness of the football final in the days leading up to the event.
On the other hand, those in charge of our biggest and longest standing limited over cricket competition, never seem to realise some sort of promotion was needed to mobolise and motivate patrons to attend.
Even though spectators no longer flock to Kensington Oval for local, regional or even Test cricket these days, it was extremely disappointing that such a prestigious final attracted fewer people than the recent Grantley Adams International Airport Tapeball final at Rices, late last month.
The BCA and the Sagicor Cup committee need to be more proactive and come up with ways to attract spectators, who have other interests apart from cricket, to the game especially with the decline in standards.