The value of the “intangibles” of CPL cricket

first_imgEvery year since the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) was launched in 2013, the money raked in by the WestJamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew HolnessIndian economies continue to climb. According to an independent economic impact study on the tournament, Guyana had an almost US$15 million infusion into its economy. But several commentators pointed out that the “intangible value” provided by the CPL dwarfed by far that tangible sale of the Caribbean’s greatest cultural product, cricket.The study, conducted by SMG-Insight/YouGov, demonstrated that Guyana’s economy cashed in on some US$14.92 million during the 2015 tournament – a significant increase of 35 per cent over the 2014 edition. And for 2016, the organisers predict even greater growth, with an increase in local jobs created, a greater influx of fans coming to see the games as well as higher media value from the games being shown in more countries around the world.“Beyond the boundaries of the cricket stadiums of the Caribbean, if there were to be a dollar figure placed on the intangible benefits accruing to the WI people from the Hero CPL, “according to Dr Ranjasinghi Ramroop, Chairman of the Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise, “it would be staggering.”Digesting the remarkable victory of the Guyana Amazon Warriors over the Jamaican Tallawas last Thursday night at the Providence National Stadium in Guyana, one fan Haniff Mohamed said, “Man, cricket was dying in the West Indies before CPL came in 2013. Today, every West Indian fan – living in so many countries – are watching our special brand of cricket! This brings us together as a people! One love brother!”His countryman Henry Talbot, who had come all the way from Berbice with his family, shook his head vigorously in agreement. “Man, you see what happen last year? You see who won those World Cup games? We won all three finals – men, women and under-19 – because of the influence of T-20 cricket… especially CPL T20! It has become the launching pad of WI cricketing stars today!”One cricket-besotted social scientist, who flew in from New York for the games in Guyana was more expansive, even as he asked to remain anonymous. “Whatever problems of “social cohesion” there might be in Guyana which caused the new Government to place that item at the top of its agenda when it acceded to office were certainly not in sight in Providence Stadium. I saw Guyanese from every walk of life, from every region and every political persuasion – or whatever categorisation that might have contributed to a lack of “social cohesion” – turn up to fill the venue to capacity. To cheer their team on to victory and to console each other when it seemed to them that “their boys” in the middle might have lost the plot for a while.”“Abee gat fuh get wan hit,” muttered Gobin Persaud to Shaundelle Cummings sitting next to him. “The boys have a build a partnership,” she replied knowingly without taking her eyes off the battle between bat and ball going on in the middle.“How do you put a value to getting over 60,000 Guyanese to physically be as one over the course of four nights and days?” the Sociologist wanted to know. “This togetherness is not from the rhetoric and exhortation of politicians but from their sharing their love of cricket in supporting their national team – the Guyana Amazon Warriors. Social cohesion and nationalism in action at the same time.”He pointed out that in his opinion, evidently shaken up by Brexit, even the usually staid Prime Ministers and Presidents meeting at the 37th (Caribbean Community) Caricom Heads of State meeting in Guyana had to concede that cricket was the greatest binding force holding the Region together. “Jamaica might be squabbling with Trinbago, but on cricket, CPL had wiped out even the insularity of the annual West Indies selection woes,” he said.He pointed to Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness who was at Providence and saw his Tallawahs go down in defeat, but he cheered the victory of the Warriors.“CPL also solidified regional cohesion. The value of CPL cricket produces so much of value, it is priceless,” the enthusiastic social scientist concluded.last_img read more