WICB confirms the appointment of Tour Operators and Ticket Sales Agents

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), in keeping with its Draft Strategic Plan 2008-2012, is moving to ensure that at least 75% of the capacity of the Caribbean’s major cricket venues is occupied by cricket fans for the up-coming Tour by England in the Digicel Series 2009.

The Board, in an official release today (Monday) announced that it has entered into non-exclusive licence agreements with Gullivers Sports Travel, International Travel Connections (ITC Sports) , Sport Abroad and Barmy Army Ltd, all United Kingdom-based Tour Operators and Ticket Sales Agents, under which they will serve as Official Tour Operators and Ticket Sales Agents for the 2009 England Tour in the UK, Ireland and Europe. Barmy Army is the Unofficial England Cricket Supporters Club.

England arrive in the Caribbean on January 21st for a two-month tour which will involve four (4) Test Matches, five (5) ODI’s and one (1) Twenty20 International.

The WICB says that under the agreements, Gullivers Sports Travel, ITC Sports, Sport Abroad and Barmy Army Ltd will be required to ensure the commercial, sporting and general success of the Series and that each Match is well attended and achieves a minimum attendance of 75% of venue capacity.

The Official Tour Operators and Ticket Sales Agent, says the WICB, are also required to maximize the attraction of both West Indies cricket and the experience of cricket in the West Indies, with a view to expansion of the fan base.
Paul Burnham, co-founder of Barmy Army Ltd commented: “We are all looking forward to working with the WICB over the coming months to help to ensure a successful cricket tour to the Caribbean and to fill the stands with passionate cricket supporters from the UK, Ireland and Europe.

We  consider ourselves very fortunate to have been selected by the WICB to become a non exclusive ticket sales agent for the UK, Ireland and Europe for the Digicel Series 2009. We all hope for some exciting times during the tour on the field, and are especially looking forward to the World Famous Caribbean hospitality. We will be selling match tickets for the series through our website at www.barmyarmy.com, initially to Barmy Army Members, but also to non-Members in the coming weeks.”
Sport Abroad has been operating sporting tours abroad since 1983 and has become a market leader in the UK travel market for package and tailor made tours for cricket, rugby and motorsport events worldwide.  It has supported Test match and One Day series in the West Indies as well as the 2007 Cricket World Cup during which time is has forged strong and enduring links with Caribbean tourist boards, hotels and ground agents.
John Davison Managing Director of Gullivers Sports Travel confirmed that the company is very excited at the prospect of its’ sixth cricket supporters tour to the Caribbean and working alongside the WICB as an Official Tour Operator to promote the 2009 England Tour to the Caribbean.
Drew Foster, Managing Director, ITC  commented….“ITC Sports is delighted to have been appointed as an Official Tour Operator and Ticket Sales Agent for England’s tour of the West Indies in 2009.  We have a long history in the region, having originated as Caribbean Connection in 1974, and for over 30 years ITC Sports has been synonymous with the ultimate in luxury sporting holidays for the discerning traveller.  Everyone at ITC Sports is looking forward to working with the WICB towards the success of this tour.”

The WICB stressed that Gullivers Sports Travel, ITC Sports, Sport Abroad and Barmy Army were selected in an open tender process, on the strength of their skill, experience and ability to meet all of their obligations to WICB and to those to whom they sell.

Contact details for the Official Tour Operators and Ticket Sales Agent are as follows:

Gullivers Sports Travel – Claire Blackford email Claire.blackford@gulliverstravel.co.uk
                                      John Davison email john.davison@gulliverstravel.co.uk
Contact number: 00 44 1684 293 175

International Travel Connections (ITC Sports) – Wendy Fisher email wendyfisher@itc-uk.com
                                                                      Drew Foster email drewfoster@itc-uk.com
Tel:  01244 355 372
Fax: 01244 355 399

Sport Abroad – Peter Browne email cricket@sportabroad.co.uk
Tel:        +44 (0) 20 8541 2234
Fax:       +44 (0) 20 8939 5030           

Barmy Army – Katy Cooke email katy@barmyarmy.com
Contact number: 44 (0) 1932 770077