By Neto Baptiste
Chief organiser of the Cool & Smooth T20 Explosion, Dario Barthley, has given this year’s edition of the lucrative tournament a 6.5 out of a possible grade 10, admitting that there is still some room for improvement.
Barthley was speaking on the heels of last Saturday’s rain-affected final between champions PIC Liberta Blackhawks and CUB Bethesda Golden Eagles at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG).
“We still have to leave that 3.5 for improvement because there are just so many aspects of the tournament that can be improved on, and I think that we would be doing it a disservice if we were to rank ourselves any higher than that. I want to say a huge thanks to all of the sponsors of the Cool & Smooth T20 who would have made it possible. I will be sending out thanks and reaching out to them in the coming days to express my gratitude and obviously speak to them about the relationship going forward into 2023,” he said.
Barthley listed streaming of matches as one of the main areas of concern, pledging improvements going forward.
“Our streaming solutions need to be put in place early and needs to be a much better coordinated effort. However, we are very grateful for the emergency solutions we were able to put in place and the Antigua Parish League being able to stream via our platform. We think that broadcast is a big part of this tournament as not everyone who is interested is able to make it into the grounds. So, just making improvements in terms of that like having the scorecards on the screens, better coordinated commentary and that type of stuff, I think, will take this tournament to another level on its own,” he said.
Barthley, a Media and Content Executive at Cricket West Indies (CWI), also lauded the staff at the Coolidge Cricket Ground for their professionalism throughout the tournament, adding that the move from the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium to the more intimate CCG contributed to the success of the event.
“The staff at Coolidge Cricket Ground have been excellent in helping us to stage the tournament and the patrons that have come into the Coolidge Cricket Ground for the duration of the tournament have been excellent as well, so we think the fans enjoyed it. The early stage of the tournament did see an [increase] in paying patrons and, obviously, the final was rain affected but I think we were set up for quite a big attendance then as well,” he said.
Blackhawks won the rain affected final by 89 runs to lift the title for a fifth time since the inaugural instalment of the tournament back in 2013 which was captured by Pigotts Crushers.