Oh no, Mia!

Opposition Leader got it wrong, says Lashley

Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley today sought to make it clear that Government did not drop the ball on this country’s hosting a major international women’s cricket tournament.

While responding to accusations levelled by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, as well as President of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Conde Riley, Lashley also warned that the matter was “not a political issue and ought not to be politicized”.

However, he said the level of financial commitment Barbados was being asked to bear – including absorbing the full cost of the Kensington Oval venue –  made it impossible for the country to take forward its bid for next year’s International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Women’s T20 Cup final.

“Barbados would have been required to make preparations, including ensuring visitors are facilitated on entry, national security, disaster management, cleanup, beautification and general hospitality support,” Lashley said, while pointing out that medical services and a stadium licence also had to be provided by the host country.

“In other words Barbados was being asked to provide Kensington Oval free of cost to Cricket West Indies and the BCA for the hosting of this tournament,” he said, adding that this was  “totally unacceptable”.

He said both Mottley and Riley had sought to give the wrong impression that all that was required from Government was a pledge of US$75, 000, along with US$200, 000 in visa waivers.

While terming those suggestions as “grossly inaccurate, misleading and very irresponsible”,  the Minister of Sports make it clear that his ministry was “very much aware of its responsibilities in these matters.

“And for the record I could safely say that we have always acted responsibly and we will continue to act responsibly in relation to any matters that are brought before it,” he said during a press conference at his Haggatt Hall, St Michael office.

He went further to accuse the Opposition Leader of engaging in irresponsible and reckless behaviour, while suggesting that “we saw similar approach taken by Ms Mottley in relation to [Barbados’ staging last August of] CARIFESTA.

“Of course I had to have my say on that . . . [but] I find it passing strange that the Opposition has been criticizing the Government for granting waivers and concessions, but now, all of a sudden, is purporting to try and make a case for the Government to grant concessions.

“I think it is tantamount to asking the Government to engage in reckless behaviour, which of course we will not do,” he said.

Lashley also pointed out that it would take in excess of $1.3 million to repair Kensington.

However, he said “Government’s position remains that it will not sign a blank cheque but it will certainly entertain a proper and full discussion before it commits taxpayers’ hard earned money to any project of that kind.

“And that is the issue that I want to zoom in on because I would have felt coming from the Leader of the Opposition, that they would want to ensure that Government spends taxpayers’ money wisely and not to immediately sign off on a document because it seem to be somehow the in thing to do,” he said while pointing out that Cricket World Cup 2007, which was undertaken by the last Government, “did not bring the kind of return that we expected”.

Lashley also spared no insult for the BCA in terms of its handling of the latest ICC bid.

In fact, he said contrary to what was published in the media, his ministry had requested a letter from the BCA outlining what they wanted the Government of Barbados to consider in relation to the tournament.

However,  he said the BCA was yet to provide the requested information.

“What was received from the ministry is basically an attachment containing bidding information and a letter of intent in relation to the process by which the BCA wanted to be involved with West Indies Cricket (CWI) in the hosting of women’s T20,” Lashley said.

He also pointed out that before the tournament deadline expired, emails were dispatched to Chief Executive Officer of CWI Johnny Grave, which were copied to BCA’s CEO Noel Lynch and to the CWI project team of T20 2018, in response the number of commitments that were required of Barbados.

In the circumstances, he said it was inaccurate to say that Government had not given its support to this particular venture.

“Not only did I give support, but I give support based on receiving from Cricket West Indies and the BCA, reasonable terms upon which the Government can give guarantees of any kind and I think that is reasonable for the Government to do.

“I would have signalled the Government’s interest in the tournament and I did that even before the third deadline which I read for the first time in the newspaper, and certainly the last deadline of December the second,” he said, adding that “there was a clear position from the Government of Barbados, that it remained interested in the tournament but on the terms and conditions that were considered reasonable to Barbados”.  

17 Responses to Oh no, Mia!

  1. Alwin Ellis
    Alwin Ellis December 21, 2017 at 12:44 am

    Santa little elf shut to RH up wunna drop the ball just admit it and go along yuh keeping back the sliegh

    Reply
  2. John Everatt December 21, 2017 at 1:02 am

    The minister obviously screwed up on CARIFESTA but I agree with him. If the country can not afford t pay the bills then that is the end of it. It is not often that I agree with any minister in this government but they should not have bought services for CARICOM that they could not pay for. At least we will not be stuck for a bill on this one.

    Reply
  3. Sandra Madea
    Sandra Madea December 21, 2017 at 1:47 am

    Mr Minister of sport…

    Reply
  4. Christopher Donawa
    Christopher Donawa December 21, 2017 at 5:43 am

    Mr. Minister. Exactly how much more than the $275K mentioned would hosting this tournament have cost the Government and people of Barbados? What is the Stadium cost? What would have been the estimated potential benefits? It seems to non political me that coming to the public to defend the government without fully addressing these questions is a knee jerk reaction, rather than a response and therefore, an exercise in futility.

    Reply
  5. L.Allan Wilkie
    L.Allan Wilkie December 21, 2017 at 6:09 am

    All that really happen, there,treasury and the central bank near brec. In all bad things, there is some good. No kick backs for this one!

    Reply
  6. Philip Matthews
    Philip Matthews December 21, 2017 at 6:23 am

    Can’t Believe anything all of Dem say

    Reply
  7. Sheron Inniss December 21, 2017 at 6:48 am

    World Cup Cricket was a fiasco. A huge deficit was left on our doorstep. I feel the same thing occurred for Carifesta. Where is the gov’t going to find this money. Cuddear some people still waiting on tax returns.

    Reply
  8. Sue Donym December 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Not sure whether the BT reporting or nondisclosure by Mr Lashley is the cause of the the missing details. What we do know is that neither the government nor the BCA nor CWI would be new to the process.

    Ms Mottley brought some figures and Minister Lashley is disputing them but we have no information on what was being asked vs what was projected as returns. However, Ms Mottley scored high on her statement that the gains to Barbados would be in the incomes in several sectors This is how government does not provide direct employment, but its policies stimulate earning capacity and thus tax earnings for government.

    The cricket authorities would no doubt have been requesting some kind of facilitation, waivers, concessions, but the big question was how hard was anybody willing to work to make the tournament happen here – and reap the expected benefits.

    The BCA and affiliates have a responsibility to provide as much information as needed, but government ministers should be skilled at negotiating at the highest levels and if the sports minister was commited to having this tournament here, I have every confidence that this particular minister – who just received a national honour for his dedication – could have worked his magic.

    Why the talk of cost to repair Kensington – would it not have to be done anyway… or were we planning to let it go the way of the national stadium or the wildey facility?

    Reply
  9. Greengiant December 21, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Too many political issues here. The opposition operatives within the BCA trying to make the government look bad. He should be fired for passing information to the opposition leader instead of responding to the government with the required information.

    Reply
  10. luther thorne December 21, 2017 at 8:59 am

    This is the politics of Division and Exclusion as practiced by the Tribalistic DLP. When Branford Taitt challenged Errol Barrow for the leadership, Barrow cussed all of them and called them Tribalistic , dangerous and divisive. He lambasted them as vicious and selfish. It is clear what is going on here. Conde is not to have this as an achievement . It is quite clear. The nastiness needs to stop. Politics of Inclusion and not of Polarization, Division an Exclusion is needed. Barbados for ALL BAJANS.

    Reply
  11. linlayson December 21, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Ya mean Barbados could not AFFORD to host the event? Wuh that is tantamount to saying that Barbados (had to) drop the ball!
    BECAUSE .. ta ta ta ta!

    Reply
  12. Romeo Crowell December 21, 2017 at 11:10 am

    There is no doubt that information is missing on both sides. However, it is expected that the new CEO of the BCA would have strong criticism for the Minister with his political agenda .

    With an opportunity of this magnitude the BCA should be one leading the charge bringing the public and private sectors on board.
    The BCA is Barbados’ cricket governing body.
    I am so tired of seeing good opportunities squandered because of political agendas over shadowing national priorities.
    I am still recovering from the way as a country we handled the the sewerage problem on the south coast.
    For political gain the leaders of our country shared it on national tv social media etc in way that the world would think that the whole of Barbados is full of sewage .
    I noticed north America, Australia and other were going through the same issues at the time but no one behave the way our leaders did ..

    Reply
  13. Roger Headley December 21, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Just agree to pay public servants a likkle something. Got t cut somewhere else

    Reply
  14. Oliver Smith December 21, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Wait! is this really true what I am reading that this Government has allowed Kensington Oval to run down the cost of $1.3 million. If is a non-performing asset perhaps they should put it on the auction block like the Hilton. Just saying…

    Reply
  15. Patrick December 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Just for Conde to achieve his objectives as President

    Reply
  16. Mark Adamson December 22, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I continue to argue that Mottley is not growing and developing in the office of Leader of Opposition.

    Here are three things:

    1) At this time of political economic and financial depression in this country it made ABSOLUTELY NO sense hosting any matches of the ICC Women’s T 20 Tournament, as the level of activities – financial and otherwise – are too much for this country to bear at this stage;

    2) Barbados hosted the ICC Mens World Cup tournament in 2007, and after all of the slurging of transfers – in association with the local core financial system – to this and the next person and to this group and the next group of persons by the then BLP government, the only legacy we in Barbados have to show is a
    legacy of debt and a totally unfinished stadium in name of the
    Kensingston Oval.

    3) With the level of wild and reckless posturing exhibited by
    Mottley – in this case now – it is clear why the Kensington Oval Redevelopment Project became the scandal that it has been right up to today.

    Under NO circumstance whatsoever must the BLP be EVER AGAIN reelected into the government of this country.

    Reply
  17. Adrian Hinds December 22, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Like we did not know that Conde Riley will bring nothing new to the BCA.

    Reply

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