Chief executive officer of the Barbados Cricket Association, Noel Lynch, believes territorial boards should get a monetary share when the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) earns revenue from television rights for international matches involving the regional team.
“I think the best way to do that is through the gate. If England are playing the West Indies, and the WICB is making its money primarily from the television rights, then give us the gates. Lower the prices, let us determine how we market to our patrons. Let us decide how we are going to get spectators through the gates. And let us keep that gate,” Lynch told Barbados TODAY.
He suggested that the WICB could put a line item into their planning budget under a broad banner of marketing for advertising and promotion to accommodate his idea.
Lynch said territorial boards such as the BCA played a fundamental role in the development of cricketers and the regional cricket product.
“A Carlos Brathwaite or a Jason Holder may be making a lot of money as professionals within their sport now, but their development was achieved on the backs of volunteers and a voluntary system within the BCA,” Lynch said.
“Think about the West Indies playing against England, there are six Barbadians who are the centrepieces of the action. The gate goes to the WICB. The concessions and the other revenue generated from the event goes to the management company that managed the stadium, and the BCA which produced the cricketers receives nothing from the particular endeavour,” he explained.
Even though he agreed that for several years the fans only filled Kensington Oval when the West Indies and England were battling each other, Lynch believed more local and West Indian fans would attend matches if the territorial boards were managing the gates
“It will give our cricketers much more of an impetus to perform better, because they will be playing in front of their people. I believe it raises the stakes in terms of private sector involvement in how we promote and advertise these games and give them more reasons to come on board with us. The private sector will be sure if they advertise on the grounds, or leading up to the matches, their products and services are being exposed to the people who are most likely to purchase them,” Lynch explained.
He added: “I believe that if the territorial boards are given the gates, there will be a marked difference. There will be more of an interest.”
Lynch said when he was a boy cricket was the main game played by boys. Today, he added, with cultural penetration and the emergence of electronic media where everyone can see what is going on around the world, cricket was competing with sports that many never knew previously about.
Lynch noted there had been development strides made by the WICB in recent times and that in his view the most significant advancement had been the creation of the Professional Cricket League.
“I have my own issues in relation to some of the functional and administrative parts of the franchises arrangements. But that said, I just want to make it clear that the WICB has contributed to that level of development by creating the Professional League,” Lynch said.
He stressed that the creation of this league would play a powerful role in the emergence of cricketing talent throughout the region in the future, because it would change the way sport was viewed by the society.
“A schoolboy who is good at playing cricket will not think he has to be an academic because we have given pride of place to academics in our society and have not considered sports and culture as legitimate tools of social and economic development,” Lynch said.