BY SHERDON COWAN
Manish Patel, part-owner of the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise, believes the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 Tournament has made tremendous strides towards boosting the Caribbean’s economy and Jamaica’s in particular.
Patel, who was in the island along with CPL’s CEO Damien O’Donohoe and other key partners, to meet with sponsors and government officials, revealed that last year’s staging alone contributed $8 million to the Jamaican economy.
He explained that the figure was accumulated from the four home games contested by the Jamaica Tallawahs at Sabina Park.
“In terms of direct investment, I think last year I believe the number was US$8 million, so if you look at the direct impact I think it was pretty significant. For four home games that is a huge impact, just the hotel finances, also for the stadium folks, and those in direct and indirect jobs with the CPL,” he told the Jamaica Observer in an interview at Sabina Park recently.
“So it has been a pretty big impact to the Jamaican economy and so right now I think it is important to get everyone aligned on how we work together,” he added.
Patel explained that since the tournament’s inception in 2013, the investments by franchise owners and a number of commercial partners and sponsors have been very strategic and beneficial to all parties involved.
A Wikipedia search revealed that as of December 30, 2015, the Caribbean Premier League’s salary cap was US$780,000.
The tournament includes six franchises with 15 contracted players each, including a maximum of five international players and four players under the age of 23. Each team has one local and one international franchise player.
“Cricket is our passion as well and we fell in love with Jamaica, and it was obvious the passion that we have brought to the game with our family over the last two years. But it is also important at the same time that you get a partnership, because you have made a financial commitment to the Jamaica franchise.
“It is also important that you get a similar support from the Government and also from JCA (Jamaica Cricket Association) and all the other key authorities that are involved. You can’t have one entity continue to invest and not get anything in return, so I think it is important that there is a three-way partnership with the JCA, the Government and us,” Patel said.
As it relates to those partnerships, Patel pointed out that slight progress has been made in the negotiations, and he and his team will be making frequent trips to Jamaica leading up to the tournament.
He added that they remain optimistic about seeing an even bigger impact from this year’s staging of the tournament which will be contested July-August.
“This is a great product for the fans and for the local economy. I think there has been a huge direct impact on the local economy of millions of dollars for the Jamaican economy. So I think it is important that now that the data has been presented, that the partnership will come from the other side,” Patel reasoned.
“It is going good so far. It has been really positive (as) we have met with the sports tourism and other key government members, and we are very optimistic that we have done a pretty good job in terms of the CPL product over the past three years. So I think the impact has been positive from an economic standpoint and I think those are right indicators for us to partner with government folks,” he ended.
Reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders will seek to defend their title against former champions Barbados Trident and Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and St Lucia Zouks. (Jamaica Observer)