WICB investing to exploit global commercial opportunities - Hunte
St John’s, Antigua– President of the West Indies Cricket Board Dr. Julian Hunte has said that the WICB is ensuring that it aligns the best interest of cricket with how the sport is evolving as a global product in order to exploit financial and sponsorship opportunities.
“Twenty20 cricket has presented tremendous challenges but also fantastic opportunities for governing bodies. Some will benefit more and sooner from these opportunities than others. In the Caribbean scenario, principally it is the players and the fans who are the ones benefitting most,” Dr Hunte said last week during an interview for the forthcoming Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament Guide.
Noting the WICB’s strategic decision to invest in Caribbean Twenty20 Dr. Hunte said that the focus is on providing a stage for players to flourish, fans to enjoy cricket and building commercial value.
“The board will not position itself and employ strategies which deny the fans the enjoyment from the sport and the players the financial gains from exploiting their skills,” Dr Hunte asserted.
“Fans want to see this version because they enjoy it as it is packaged in a manner which is convenient to their evolving needs. The players want to play it because it tests their skills in a different dimension and of course it brings them a level of financial security which has not been historically available,” Dr Hunte noted.
“As a governing board our product is cricket and it is driven by cricketers and the onus is on us to invest in schemes and mechanisms to ensure that not only our products are strong but players are financially secure,” Dr. Hunte added.
Cognizant of the need to ensure that players are able to secure their livelihoods during their relatively short playing careers, Dr. Hunte said the Board of Directors of the WICB is committed to ensuring that every effort is made to allow them to maximise their earning capacity.
“The last thing, as a Board, we want is for players to complete their playing careers and have to scrape around for resources to get by daily living. This has happened in the past and we will do what we can, as best we can to eradicate this regrettable situation,” Dr Hunte related in the extensive interview.
“It is why the investment in the Caribbean Twenty20 is important and necessary. We envision that the tournament will be able to turn in returns in the future but at this stage, purely as an investment in a platform for our players to showcase their wares it is a critical investment for the WICB,” Dr Hunte explained.
The Caribbean Twenty20 kicks off on Monday January 10th in Antigua.