CPL: “I think it’s going to be a fantastic year”- ExxonMobil Country Manager
By Avenash Ramzan
A great sense of optimism pervaded the Marriott Hotel lobby on Friday morning as the Guyana Amazon Warriors officially sealed a new partnership with United States oil exploration company ExxonMobil as the title sponsor for the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League.
Warriors players, who have assembled in the country for the pre-tournament training camp set to start on Friday afternoon at the National Stadium, Providence, were fully decked out in their tournament kits boldly sporting the ExxonMobil logo.
“We have a really solid team. I’ve already been talking to the team about our chances and I really think that it’s going to be a fantastic year,” ExxonMobil Country Manager, Rod Henson, said at the unveiling of the alliance.
“I know you would be fantastic ambassadors for the sport, and for ExxonMobil and for the Amazon Warriors and I wish you all the best of luck…and I can’t wait for Thursday,” Henson added.
Guyana Amazon Warriors will begin the march to a maiden CPL title on Thursday August 9 when they take on Chris Gayle’s St. Kitts Patriots at the National Stadium, Providence.
“We’ve got five games (in Guyana) this season; I hope everybody comes out. We’ve got two playoff games as well and I know we would absolutely be represented in the playoffs as well and go all the way. It’s going to music and food and excitement and fun,” an obviously elated Henson further stated.
Henson described ExxonMobil’s initial partnership with the franchise in 2017 as “fantastic”, noting that the company looks forward to “greater things this year.”
The Country Manager stressed on the social impact the game has had on Caribbean life, an experience ExxonMobil is keen to be associated with.
“Cricket is part of the heritage here; it does unite people no matter what’s going on, whether it’s in politics or your social life.”
“And one of the reasons that ExxonMobil is very happy to partner with the Amazon Warriors is that they have a long-standing (and) excellent tradition of corporate citizenship. You guys have done over the years many things in terms of mentoring young men and women and motivational speaking and visiting schools and really that’s fantastic,” Henson observed.
“Not all of us or nearly none of us can hit a century or play cricket the way these folks do, but something that we all can do come together to support communities,” he added.
Team Operations Manager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Omar Khan, spoke of the evolving cricket landscape globally and the consequent need and importance of corporate alliance.
“The whole cricketing world has transformed; the cricketing landscape has transformed. Cricket is now big business. Cricket is an industry. Sport is an industry,” Khan reasoned.
He continued, “And as an industry, we need to set up systems and structures in place where we could sustain our level of participation and, as Rod said, presenting and being ambassadors of our country. In order for us to do that we need corporate sponsors to come onboard.”
Khan drew reference to other global leagues such as the Indian Premier League and Australia’s Big Bash, which have greater access to financial resources as compared to the Caribbean, adding that ExxonMobil’s partnership has been a great help to the franchise.
“We want to thank them sincerely. We want to show them that we appreciate their sponsorship very much, and we’re going to let you know that this sponsorship is not just about the ExxonMobil logo on our shirts. We’re going to make ExxonMobil proud by doing other things within Guyana and the Caribbean and throughout the cricketing world to make ExxonMobil proud of their sponsorship of the Guyana Amazon Warriors,” Khan said.
The Hero Caribbean Premier League 2018 will run from August 8 to September 16.
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Shoaib Malik (captain), Sohail Tanvir, Chadwick Walton, Chris Green, Rayad Emrit, Imran Tahir, Jason Mohammed, Luke Ronchi, Veerasammy Permaul, Roshan Primus, Shimron Hetmyer, Devendra Bishoo, Gajanand Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul, Saurabh Netravalkar and Akshaya Persaud.