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T&T’s CPL gamble

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sports Minister Darryl Smith’s announcement of a deal with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for the rights to the next three consecutive semi-finals and finals has been lauded in the cricketing fraternity.

The deal will see T&T spending US$3 million (TT$20.1m) over the three-year period to host the play-offs up to 2020 at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in Tarouba, in addition to the Trinbago Knight Riders’ five preliminary matches, most likely at the team’s preferred Queen’s Park Oval base.

The deal is being broached as a boost to the ministry’s sport tourism thrust, with Smith announcing that hosting last year’s play-offs brought in TT$23m in revenue and was viewed by 37.6 million people worldwide. However, Smith needs to give more details about the benefits of such activity, since the history of countries hosting major world sporting events will show that little is derived from it save when the actual event is going on.

Case in point, the BLCA has not hosted one major international event of the calibre of the CPL final since last year’s final, nor has any major cricketing body or organisation flocked to T&T to utilise it for any sort of cricketing activity.

Attracting sporting teams is the only way to boost sport tourism and realise the goal the ministry is seeking. Smith must therefore get the planning right, since his ministry has invested in several major sporting stadia across the country which could become white elephants unable to even earn revenue for their upkeep.

Bring coastal erosion unit

The cases of erosion highlighted in Cedros, Guayaguayare, and along the Lady Young Road last week, have brought to the fore the significance of monitoring the impact of nature in various communities across the country.

Residents of Cedros and Guayaguayare claimed that they have been complaining about the coastal erosion of the land over the years with poor response from the authorities. The Lady Young Road landslide seemingly occurred without warning, but is similar to events on the route to Maracas Bay on an annual basis.

The response to the two events in Cedros and the Lady Young Road this week, however, suggests that it may very well be time to dedicate a special unit within one of the relevant ministries dealing with land infrastructure to look at and respond to these types of phenomenon.

Phagwa here again

Hindus across the country will be celebrating Phagwa today. This newspaper admires how young and old enjoy themselves together during the festivities. We join with the national community in hoping the celebrations pass off well.


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