Patriotism, national pride and excitement are running high as thousands flock to the Guyana National Stadium at Providence to be part of several exciting Caribbean Premier League matches. The Caribbean Premier League is, no doubt, continuing to have a positive impact on the country’s overall economic and tourism development.
It must be stated from the outset that the CPL has also managed to unify Guyana, as persons from all sections of society – regardless of their race, creed, sexual orientation and political persuasion – have rallied behind the very competitive Guyana Amazon Warriors.
So high was the amount of unity and cohesiveness over the years that it is widely believed that the tournament stood out as one of the clear examples of avenues that could be used to push the Government’s “One Guyana” agenda by the utilisation of sport as a mechanism to bridge gaps that exist in our society.
It was this unity and display of cohesiveness that have no doubt motivated and inspired the good performances delivered by the players and organisers of the tournament thus far.
Also, the CPL games this year are coming to Guyana at a time when there has been a notable slowdown in domestic trade and business. Interestingly, the tournament had also come to the country at a time when small businesses were struggling to catch their hands because of various factors that were working against them while depleting their expected levels of revenue and profitability.
It therefore provides these small businesses with an opportunity to maximise their profits through the sale of small portions of confectionery near the stadium and at other Hero CPL-associated parties and events. It would, no doubt, provide those who signed up officially for a number of initiatives with another means of garnering revenue, because scores of overseas-based Guyanese would return home to be part of the fun.
Larger-scale businesses and companies would also benefit tremendously from the hosting of CPL matches here, and while many of them are expected to maximise the marketing opportunities available via the tournament to boost sales and achieve brand popularity, others would settle for just mounting promotions to give back to their loyal customers by providing them opportunities to join the ‘biggest party in sport’.
With the CPL, the occupancy rates at local hotels, bars, sports clubs and community shops have been significantly boosted, especially those that would have access to the televised games being broadcast. As a matter of fact, Guyana’s Head of State, Dr Irfaan Ali, has recently said that all hotels are full.
The Government’s endorsement of the event along with the Cricket Carnival initiative is laudable, and demonstrates its commitment to the development of sport and the upward movement of the direct and indirect benefits to the country’s young tourism sector because of market access and promotional opportunities for Destination Guyana.
Research has shown that the Guyana economy leads others in the league in terms of the benefits accrued from the injection of millions of US dollars each year it hosts the tournament, apart from the other noteworthy indirect benefits. As such, more companies should get on board the league by entering into mutual and lucrative deals with the franchise, and providing various forms of endorsement and sponsorship for the Amazon Warriors, whenever allowed and applicable according to the existing rules and agreement framework.
The truth is that CPL provides an opportunity for the hunger of cricket lovers and supporters to be satisfied; even if a lot of other regional and international matches are not brought, as we would like, to the country.
As the Amazon Warriors continue their bid for dominance in this year’s tournament, every Guyanese is duty bound to stand solidly behind the team and its franchise owners, who have brought so much entertainment, cricket fun, and countless opportunities for business to these shores over the last few years via their continued sponsorship and involvement in the league.