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PM laments T20 that got away

JUSTIN MARVILLE, [email protected]

PM laments T20 that got away

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The Prime Minister is still in disbelief.

Mia Mottley said she can’t understand the previous Government’s decision not to bid for the final or any matches of this year’s ICC Women’s World Twenty20, given Barbados’ rich cricketing legacy.

She was welcoming four members of the defending champion Windies side to Parliament yesterday, along with the World T20 trophy.

“I said this months ago, that this is a travesty as Barbados became accustomed hosting global events in cricket. We did it in 2007. We did it in 2010,” said the Prime Minister during a special ceremony.

“And for us not to have the Women’s World Twenty20 here in circumstances where we are champions, in circumstances where the English are champions and they are the ones who most want to come to Barbados for cricket as visitors, and in circumstances where there are seven Bajans on the team at the time, was odd.

“This was a no-brainer, so the less I say about the past the better,” Mottley said.

“Let’s move on to winning the trophy and let’s move on to getting some matches here for the Under-19 tournament. I keep saying I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, only in the forward.”

The decision did appear questionable, particularly after Barbados Cricket Association president Conde Riley revealed that the previous Government did not give the BCA US$75 000 pledges to host the final, as well as visa waivers for travelling players.

Riley said Barbados lost out on tens of millions of dollars in economic benefits from the foreign exchange that such a tournament would have attracted.

The then Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley quickly dispelled the notion that there was no interest, saying that Government did not want to sign a letter of intent with the BCA which came across as a binding memorandum of understanding.

He said the waivers for taxes, immigration and customs would have meant that Government would not have directly gained any money associated with the tournament.

Lashley also said Government would have also lost out on $80 000 a day with Kensington Oval Management Inc. conceding the rights to Kensington Oval.

The first stand-alone Women’s World Twenty20 event is set to run from November 9 to 24 in Guyana, St Lucia and Antigua. (JM)