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By Neto Baptiste

The country has suffered losses estimated to be around US$2 million due to the cancellation and or postponing of scheduled cricket tournaments and tours by international teams.

This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) and a Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director, Leon Rodney, who said that in his last update to ministry of sports officials, he presented them with similar figures.

“I had given an update to the ministry [of sports] when they wanted to find out what sort of monies would have circulated but it would have to be off the top of my head and I don’t want you to hold me to it because at the end of the day it may not be factual but I believe we are looking at somewhere about or in the region of two million US dollars,” he said.

“We have to remember that the under-15 tournament is a long tournament and it entails a lot of accommodations and the tour with South Africa A would have also been a long tour and would have also entailed quite a bit of accommodation and transportation,” he added.

There has been no competitive sports in Antigua since the country recorded its first case of the deadly coronavirus in March this year.

Rodney said the country stood to benefit from a number of regional and international tournaments.

“So what would have basically happened for Antigua itself is that in February we would have the West Indies under-15 tournament and that would have been a six-team tournament. What was lost? All of the accommodations, the transportation and food. The cricket aspect would be scorers, umpires, preparation of pitches and so it’s a whole lot of stuff,” the cricket boss said.

“South Africa A would have been here for basically all of June and then in July we would have had these two one day matches on the eighth and 10th of July in terms of New Zealand vs. West Indies,” he added. 

The national association, Rodney added, also stood to benefit from scheduled tours and competitions.

“Obviously there are some management fees and other ways of making some money. We also have a coordinating team and they would get paid their little coordinating fees and so on so it’s a big blow to a lot of us who gladly, would coordinate those matches and so forth,” he said.

In May, Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced an agreement to postpone the women’s and ‘A’ team tours to the Caribbean amid health fears due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The women’s ODI series between South African and the West Indies was scheduled to be played at the end of May in Jamaica and Trinidad while the men’s A team tour due to begin in Antigua in June was cancelled.

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