ABCA withholds sanction for Joma Caribbean T10, sparks disappointment and debate

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By Samuel Peters

The much anticipated Joma Caribbean T10 has not been sanctioned by the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) and has left many feeling despondent.

The competition was first held last in May 2022, which comprised six franchise teams and provided opportunities for the top local players to be paid. The news was informally announced via social media by the chief organiser of the competition, Dario Barthley, with players and coaches expressing their disappointment regarding the development.

However, Observer was able to speak with the heads of both organisations, Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association and Joma Caribbean to investigate the reasoning as to why the tournament is not being sanctioned.

Barthley said that from the most recent meeting held with the ABCA, that the ABCA wanted all efforts in regards T10 cricket to be focused on the ABCA T10 Splash and therefore will not be sanctioning the tournament. He went on to say that if the ABCA does eventually sanction the tournament, then he is willing to plan the tournament for the most opportune time.

The competition was sponsored by Joma Caribbean and was broadcasted and streamed allowing for various betting companies to benefit from the amount of games played. Games were played on the weekdays at the times of 5pm, 7:30 pm and 10pm to facilitate persons in other countries the opportunity to place their bets.

The organiser went on to say that the current structure of the ABCA T10 Splash Tournament does not benefit Cool and Smooth and therefore they are not interested in supporting it as it is. However, should the matches be increased then they would possibly be willing to sponsor the tournament.

However, Leon “Kuma” Rodney, the President of the ABCA conveyed that due to the awkward nature in which the Joma Caribbean T10 tournament came about, they were somewhat hard pressed to sanction it due to the already established relationship between them and its organisers.

Last year, the Joma Caribbean T10 tournament was held a few days immediately after the completion of the 2022 edition of the Cool and Smooth T20 Competition on the 29th April. It meant that the ABCA had to adjust its own competitions to accommodate the newly formed competition. In fact, many of the officials were not aware of the new competition until a week before.

Rodney stated that they declared to the organisers of the tournament that, “they have sanctioned their Cool and Smooth T20 and are not prepared to sanction the Joma T10 due to ABCA T10 Splash. If you would like to come onboard and make the T10 Spash better we are in approval of that but we are not sanctioning the Joma T10 because it is not under the umbrella of the ABCA”.

Coach of the Pigotts Crushers, Ajarni ‘Rush’ Frederick expressed his perspective on the matter and believed it was a way for local players to earn some money and many were looking forward to raising their game to create opportunities for themselves in other countries. ‘

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