* “We’re trying everything possible to bring the games to Guyana” – Trotman
* ‘Nothing has been finalised as yet’ – CPL source
The Hero Caribbean Premier League (Hero CPL) is yet to sign off on the Finals of the much anticipated high-voltage cricket tournament to be played in the Caribbean and in Florida, United States during the period June to August this year.
Reports surfaced in a few online media this week that Guyana was awarded the Finals. However, clarification was sought from Hero CPL, which had not made an official statement regarding the host nation for those crucial games.
When contacted on Wednesday afternoon, a source close to CPL revealed that nothing has been finalised.
“Nothing has been agreed or signed regarding the Finals, so there’s nothing to add at this point,” the source indicated. The source did not divulge further details. It is understood that Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica have also submitted bids to host the Finals.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Spokesman, Raphael Trotman, earlier on Wednesday indicated at a post-Cabinet press briefing that Guyana will host the Final, Semi-finals and four other games during the June to August tournament.
Trotman’s utterances came a day after Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, under whose ministry Sport falls, declared to the Guyana Times newspaper that “yes, we have the Finals.”
Trotman said, “The initial request was in excess of [US]$2 million; we are still to confirm, but the last figure I know about is on or about US$1.5 million package, but the Minister of Finance is yet to conclude the discussion and negotiations with the organisers.”
It is understood that CPL was asking for US$4.5 million (G$932.4million) for the award of the Final-four, but last year it was reported that the Trinidad government invested US$3.5 million (TT$24 million). INews understands that the Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise has injected US$2 million to ensure the games come to Guyana.
Trotman further stated that when government officials met with CPL personnel last year, a settlement was reached on the outstanding sums owed to CPL.
“When we assumed office, we were told that there was outstanding bill of half million dollars which no documentation could readily be provided for. Through interventions made from overseas, a group of ministers and others met with the CPL officials late last year and we managed to arrive at what we believe is a settlement [and] even though there was no documentation to support the claim of US$500,000 being owed, we believe that in the interest of cricket, good relations in the future of the sport that we should come to an amicable solution, so we decided that it would be paid in trances and also what I think was attractive to government was that the CPL organisers extended to us the offer of the finals and semi-finals and four games here.”
With Guyana celebrating its 50th Independence anniversary this year, Trotman believes hosting the Finals here would be a great addition to those planned celebratory activities.
“In our jubilee year, it would be a good fillip to the celebrations; we are doing everything possible to bring the games to Guyana,” Trotman said.
Quizzed on whether the Finals would be a good investment for the country, the minister said, “We believe, for the reasons I stated, this is our jubilee year, cricket of course, given the West Indies teams three feats we regard having international stars in Guyana and the festive mood, would be a good injection to our economy.”
Hero CPL 2016 is slated for June 29 to August 7. The Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise in the CPL tournament is owned by Dr Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop.