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At the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 10th Anniversary event last Friday President Irfaan Ali said that it must be seen as more than just an event but a platform for the Caribbean region to market itself globally.
Addressing members at the dinner event held at the Pegasus Hotel the president said the time is now if the region wants to differentiate itself in the exciting world of sports and catalyse its tourism product.
Caribbean cricket has always been a regional and international mobilising events, fusing cultures, economies and peoples, as well as earning revenues through direct attendance and viewership, a tourist destination for fans, and other forms of marketing the sport. Individuals, businesses and governments have seen economic gains during this time with injection of foreign exchange, hotel accommodation, sightseeing, and other forms of commercial activities.
However, President Ali is of the view that the regional leaders, the private sector and all stakeholders should find ways to work with CPL to create a product that will be one of the best globally.
CPL, he said, showcases that cricket is alive in the region as he also reminded the audience cricket forms part of the culture of the Caribbean peoples.
“We cannot expect West Indies cricket and the players to do better if we are not involved in building a system and supporting a system that helps them to develop and help them to get better. We have to be part of that system.”
At the event the president announced the Government of Guyana will be making available taxpayers funding to support sports at the school level. In the next two to three years there will be“at least one new stadium added to the country because we are looking down the road… that is why we have developed a product for Guyana and this product can be for the region, that is the Cricket Carnival,” he said.
Guyana is hosting the CPL for the first time. Guyana’s Banks is the Official Beer of Hero. Caribbean Airline is the official airline.