Telecommunications firm Digicel has extended its sponsorship of the West Indies team for another three years until September 2016, and for Cayman Islands Cricket Association technical director Theo Cuffy that is great news.
The new contract was signed in Jamaica last week at the company’s regional headquarters in Kingston by Digicel Group CEO Colm Delves and West Indies Cricket Board President Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron.
Cuffy, a former Trinidad and Tobago captain, said, “This shows that Digicel has absolute faith in its investment. Nobody puts in such big sponsorship without looking for a return.
“Digicel has seen the West Indies recently win six Test matches straight and the World Twenty20. I’m hoping that more corporate sponsorship will follow the same line.”
Digicel will also continue its individual sponsorship of Jamaican all-rounder Marlon Samuels, who was voted as one of Wisden’s top-five players in 2012.
Digicel has also been announced as major sponsors for the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board partnership with the inaugural Caribbean Premier League tournament.
“We are thrilled to be retaining our major sponsor, Digicel, for another three years,” Cameron said. “Digicel has been unwavering in its support of cricket in the Caribbean, from grassroots right up to elite level and, together, we look forward to further developing the sport right across the region in the coming years.”
The Caribbean Premier League runs for a month from 30 July and will draw millions of viewers worldwide as six franchise teams from across the region battle it out for a place in the final on 24 August in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Much of the CPL’s organising will be done by Cayman company Kelly Holding, headed by Rhonda Kelly and Laurie-Ann Holding and assisted by Beverly Sinclair.
“I’m hoping for the best for the CPL,” Cuffy said. “The West Indies have the most exciting T20 players in the world. The recent Indian Premier League proved that.
“It included Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo and the sensational newcomer Kevon Cooper. There were about 13 or 14 West Indies players in all.
“No match plays without a West Indian being in the spotlight.”
Cuffy has a point. Gayle has set most of the batting records in the IPL, while Dwayne Bravo recently set a wicket-taking record. Smith was an outstanding performer and Pollard is hugely respected, not just for his superlative batting, but also for his brilliance in the field.
“If we have our own league now we must look to become the best,” Cuffy said. “There will be teething problems, but that is to be expected for a first event.
“But I’m sure that our own Kelly Holding will produce a world class tournament. It can only get better.”