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CARIBBEAN T20 IS A WICB INVESTMENT IN YOUNG PLAYERS – HILAIRE
Monday 20th December 2010

West Indies Cricket Board CEO, Dr. Ernest Hilaire says that the US$3M investment in Caribbean Twenty20 2011 represents an investment in regional players.

In an exclusive interview with WindiesCricket.com Dr Hilaire outlined that the tournament which will run from January 10th to the 23rd will not bring in a profit for the WICB but that the regional governing body was committed to broadcasting it globally in order to offer an opportunity to players to showcase their skills.

“Important for the WICB is the fact that T20 cricket has become such a huge commercial entity that we want to be able to give our players maximum global coverage to allow them to be more attractive to the other T20 leagues around the world,” Dr. Hilaire explained.

“Players get the opportunity to be showcased on a global stage and we hope it will develop into a very valuable commercial commodity that would bring in returns for the WICB,” Dr Hilaire added.

Dr Hilaire revealed that the WICB will incur a cost of approximately US$800,000 for producing the television coverage for the 12 day tournament.

“The WICB is spending a lot of scarce resources to ensure that the tournament is on television. Television costs are usually two-fold – the fee to produce the television production and the fee to actually broadcast the tournament in terms of buying the airtime. To produce the television coverage is almost US$800,000
so that is the first half – the production cost.

“With regard to the costs for broadcasting the tournament all across the world, we are trying to ensure that this is at no cost to us so we’ve been in negotiations with a number of broadcasters – ESPN, EuroSport and ESS in the Asian sub-continent.”

In 2010, CT20 included eight teams and cost the WICB approximately US$2M to stage. In 2011 the tournament has been expanded to ten teams with the inclusion of the two top English T20 teams – Hampshire Royals and Somerset.

“We are paying just about US$500,000 in appearance and players fees alone. There is the cost for the television production, travel, hotels and other logistical costs,” Dr Hilaire pointed out.

Asked about the projections for earnings from sponsorship, Dr Hilaire said there was interest but no title sponsor as yet.

“There are quite a few sponsors who want to be associated with CT20 but they still want to see that the tournament continues to be broadcast internationally and that it has commercial value before they put in a significant amount of money.”

Asked whether he had any indication that players were uneasy over any image rights issues, the WICB CEO said he was aware that players are excitedly preparing for the tournament and that they should act responsibly as they are the ones who lose most from any protest action.

“No foreign league, no overseas franchise, no international club team, no sponsor wants to be associated with players who do not show a commitment to the game. CT20 is an opportunity for them, the WICB is investing in it for the players and for the region. I believe the players would be committed to that and would go out and give their best.”

See WindiesCricket.com for the full transcript of the interview.


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