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CPL blues?

Changes affecting tourney ahead of Barbados leg

The 2013 Limacol Caribbean Premier League was a major success marked by massive crowds.

But now a number of changes appear to be impacting on the CPLwith only the recent evening games in Guyana attracting crowds comparable to last year’s.

Investigations carried out by Barbados TODAY have revealed that there has been a cut in the operations budget. There has also been the dismissal of the Cayman Islands-based events management company Kelly-Holding which is headed by two former employees of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Rhonda Kelly and Laurie-Ann Holding, wife of West Indies fast bowling legend Michael Holding. Last year, Kelly-Holding organised the Press conferences that launched the CPL and Holding was based in the Barbados office during the opening rounds of the matches.

According to a CPL source who spoke to Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity, as a result of a cut in the budget, a situation existed in 2014 where in some cases two players were sharing one hotel room unlike last year when each player had his own room. Other changes instituted this year as a cost-cutting measure are the issuing of armbands for members of the media covering matches, rather than media passes. The Digicel group public relations office which is based in Jamaica is now the centralized marketing and public relations office for the tournament.

The CPL source admitted to Barbados TODAY that the centralized marketing and public relations office in Jamaica had created headaches for the offices in the various islands which are hosting matches.

“This has affected the management of all the offices in the various islands because no one can give information about anything without clearing it from the Jamaica office. So if a journalist in any island, for example, wishes information on ticket sales it must be cleared by the marketing office in Jamaica first,” the source said.

Yesterday Barbados TODAY contacted Jillian Power, the group manager for public relations of Digicel at her Jamaica office and quizzed her about the sales of tickets for tournaments so far as well as for the Barbados leg of CPL matches which starts tomorrow, in addition to the other concerns being raised. However, she did not respond to any questions but advised to send the queries to her via email. This was done but up to live publication tonight there was no response from Power.

The drop in crowd attendance of the matches held in Grenada and Antigua has raised eyebrows in the region. Yesterday, newly appointed parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Sports in Antigua, Senator Colin James, queried on a radio programme why all the matches in Antigua were played at 4 p.m. while matches in Guyana were being played at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. James said while he was aware of the millions of dollars being made from the broadcasting of television rights, he suggested that cricketers preferred to play before full houses and this had not occurred at the early evening games.

When Barbados TODAY visited Kensington Oval today there were long queues for a protracted period of time at the ticket office as fans sought to make their purchases for the game featuring the Barbados Tridents and the St Lucia Zouks tomorrow.


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