“Everyone had a chance to bid for the Finals”- Russell
By Avenash Ramzan
Every territory had an opportunity to bid to host the Hero Caribbean Premier League (Hero CPL) Finals, according to Chief Operations Officer, Pete Russell.
Addressing local media operatives on Tuesday at the National Stadium moments after arriving for the Guyana leg of the Hero CPL, Russell explained the reason for the lengthy delay in announcing the host venue for the 2016 Finals.
He also hinted that Guyana may have given up the opportunity to host the championship games, after the country was among the front-runners in the bidding process announced earlier this year.
“At the start of each year we put out a bid process. For us, it’s not about us going to any one country and say you’ve got to host the Finals,” Russell asserted.
He continued, “The process was very clear, which was everyone had a chance to bid for the Finals. Actually in the end, Guyana sadly didn’t [get the Finals], and obviously I was down here having a number of conversations, but for perfectly valid reasons they decided they didn’t want to host the Finals here. It’s a shame; for us the 50th [Independence] anniversary was the perfect time to be hosting [the Finals].”
Discussions were also held with two other territories, one of which won the bid to host the semi-finals and grand final in early August.
Russell further explained, “And then obviously there were protracted conversations in Trinidad, and those conversations didn’t necessarily get to a positive conclusion. Both parties felt I think that it wasn’t probably the right time to host the Finals this year, and St Kitts have been great partners.”
He added, “From day one St Kitts has supported CPL, both in terms of putting a team there and committing to the Finals before. So again, we felt it was about loyalty, we’re very keen to build long-term relationships with all out partners, not just governments, but also sponsors.”
Guyana loses out
In April this year, one section of the press had reported that Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, under whose ministry sport falls, ‘confirmed’ that Guyana had won the bid to host the CPL Finals.
Other government sources had endorsed the Minister’s statement, adding that the full details of the Guyana government’s arrangement with CPL would be announced shortly.
However, in early May, it was reported that Guyana had actually lost out on the bid, and that the Finals would now be held in Trinidad and Tobago.
In late June, official confirmation came from CPL that the tourism-driven island of St Kitts will host the Finals, set for August 4-7.
Photo caption: Hero CPL’s Chief Operations Officer, Pete Russell (left, backing camera), and other officials at pitch side at Providence on Tuesday afternoon (Avenash Ramzan photo)