President Ali to Indian cricket stakeholders: ‘Make Guyana your next investment destination’
By Avenash Ramzan in Madhya Pradesh, Indore
President Irfaan Ali, who is currently on an official state visit to India, has urged cricket stakeholders there to make Guyana their next investment destination when it comes to cricket as he hopes to make the country the premier destination for the sport within the Caribbean and North American region.
The Head-of-State drew reference to Guyana’s hosting of the Hero Caribbean Premier League finals for three consecutive years, and the possibilities that exist through strategic partnerships.
Speaking at the Invest Madhya Pradesh Global Investors Summit in Indore on Wednesday, Dr. Ali told a packed auditorium in the cricket-crazy nation, “We’re working on a plan now to position Guyana as a major destination for world cricket.”
“I recently brought in Sir Clive Lloyd and I’m working now (and) negotiating with a major Indian cricketer to position Guyana as a Mecca of cricket in the geographic location we’re in- close to North America.”
The Indian Premier League is the largest domestic T20 league in the world, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India has significant influence at the top-level of global administration of the sport.
“Not so long ago there were other powers- the big players and movers of cricket- but because of innovation and forward planning you’ve been able to take that position in global cricket,” Dr. Ali told the gathering.
However, the President continued, “One of the mistakes these powers of cricket made was to have too much inward looking policies, trying to capture only a segment.”
“I offer you the opportunity to make Guyana your next investment destination in building out the cricket product.”
“How can we build a product that will bring in the North American market in an environment that is close to the market?
“We, as a government, are willing to invest in the infrastructure. We, as a government, are willing to invest in the eco-system to support this, and I extend this invitation to you to do it with us. We are ready to do it with you.”
Through the lucrative Indian Premier League, Guyanese cricketers have been able to earn handsomely from the game, the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford and Romario Shepherd.