'We deserve respect' - Tallawahs fans call for boycott

August 13, 2018
Members of the Jamaica Tallawahs team celebrating after a dismissal during a Caribbean Premier League match at Sabina Park last season.
Jamaica Tallawahs fans show their support during a Caribbean Premier League match at Sabina Park in 2015.

Former director of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Wayne Lewis, says boycotting the Jamaica Tallawahs' two games at Sabina Park, because of the decision to play the majority of their Caribbean Premier League (CPL) home matches in Florida, would be 'irresponsible'.

Several callers to The STAR's sports desks have been advocating for Jamaicans to withdraw support for the Tallawahs which has opted to play a majority of its games overseas.

The Tallawahs will welcome the St Lucia Stars to Sabina Park tomorrow before playing the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the same venue a day later.

Their other 'home' games will be played in Florida with the Guyana Amazon Warriors (August 18), Trinbago Knight Riders (August 19) and Barbados Trident (August 22), all joining the Tallawahs at the Central Broward Regional Park and Stadium in Lauderhill.

Lewis does not agree with playing three games of the Tallawahs' five homes games in the USA, but reasoned that he understands the business of it all.

"Personally, I don't like it. I prefer the five games to be played here. So I see the team performing, and it's exciting and the atmosphere is amazing. However, the owners of the Tallawahs are trying to make money," he said.


"It would be irresponsible to ask persons not to come. If we are going to demonstrate because we get two games and boycott the games, then we are not supporters."

He added that local spectators should also take some of the blame.

"If Sabina Park was full last year, then I cant imagine the owners taking so many games to Miami. A lot of persons weren't coming through the turnstiles. I don't know if it was because Chris (Gayle) wasn't playing. But we lost support surprisingly at Sabina last year.

"The crowd in Miami was sparse like how it was sparsely supported in Jamaica. But they have an exchange rate of $136 to one US dollar, it's more profitable for them (owners)," he added.

Douglas Silvera, an ardent Jamaica Tallawahs supporter, like many other locals, has expressed his disappointment with the situation and believes a drastic demonstration is necessary.

"We have been getting a poor deal in cricket in recent times. Important tours, we never seem to get any. They don't give us any of the big teams, they give us what-left or Test matches that don't have appeal," said Silvera. 

"Jamaica once had it but lost it because they have taken cricket from Jamaica and this is another example of how they are taking the game from us," he complained.

There are suggestions that the Tallawahs' Florida-based ownership is looking to establish the game more in their home state, but while he's not against expansion, Silvera believes a boycott would get the owners' attention and respect.

"I am not against building the Miami market, but not at our expense. It has affected me to the point that I am advocating, even though I don't think it will work, that we boycott the game. Jamaicans are more important to the Caribbean than we give ourselves credit for and we just roll over for everybody. I wouldn't feel that bad if we got three out of the five," he continued.

Another Tallawahs fan, Wayne Sterling, was just as livid and considers the move disrespectful to local fans.

"They should name the Miami Tallawahs. To put three games there and two here is total disrespect. From inception I have been a Tallawahs fan. I am totally disappointed and it has taken away some of the interest," he said.

The Tallawahs will welcome the St Lucia Stars to Sabina Park tomorrow before playing the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the same venue a day later.


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