A report by George Alleyne for Caribbean Life.
They carry an overall losing record, having won only two instances in the eight times the annual Caribbean Premier League tournament but government has sworn to an abiding faith in the Jamaica Tallawahs.
They began the T20 tourney with a bang by winning the initial series involving six Caribbean cricket teams in 2013 and carting off the champion’s trophy, but managed to repeat the feat only once, in 2016.
They were 3rd in 2014, 4th in 2015, 4th in 2017 and 2018, 6th in 2019, and 4th again this year.
The Gleaner newspaper has reported the Jamaica government nonetheless swearing for its team through Sport Minister, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, who last week said while it supports of all sporting activities, continued promotion of the Tallawahs goes beyond the game and benefits the island tremendously.
“The partnership between the [ministry] and the Jamaica Tallawahs is seen as an integral component, not just for the promotion of Jamaica as a sport tourism destination, but the development of the sport. T20 cricket is now one of the largest sports products around the world, given the party-like atmosphere it provides and the general entertainment value of this format of the game,” Grange said.
“Wherever it is played, loyal fans, and those who were not previously attracted to the game alike, seem to be easily excited by the atmosphere. The ministry is firm in its drive to position Jamaica as a leading sports tourism destination, and so we see this as an opportunity to capitalise on the partnership.”
The Jamaica Tourist Board is one of the main sponsors of the franchise, and the newspaper stated that it is through this initiative that Grange believes the Tallawahs can help to promote Brand Jamaica as a viable sports tourism destination.
Additionally, the Tallawahs, which is owned by Florida-based businessman Kris Persaud, benefit from government funds.
According to the Gleaner, government contributed an average of $8,303 to the franchise each year, from 2015 to 2018.
That amount increased in 2017 to $20,759 and was bumped up to $31,831 last year to assist with hosting of matches in Jamaica.
“The Government of Jamaica through the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport is committed to the holistic development of sport in Jamaica at all levels. The growth in competitive cricket in its various form is of great interest to the ministry and has the ministry’s support,” Grange reportedly said.