Govt alone can't save Tallawahs - Grange
Sports minister Olivia Grange, has underlined that the government is willing to provide funding for the Jamaica Tallawahs, but warned that it cannot meet the demands of the Caribbean Premier League cricket franchise.
Jamaica has been home to the Tallawahs since the Twenty20 competition was launched in the Caribbean back in 2013, but senior officials of the team have repeatedly called for greater support from the Jamaican government and have warned that the team could be relocated, if that support isn't forthcoming.
Grange yesterday pointed out that the government has made provisions for the franchise in the budget, but underlined that the requested US$1.5 million ($194 million) a year was too high a bill for the state, pointing to its commitment to the over 40 national sporting bodies.
The minister, who also called on corporate Jamaica to assist in the efforts to keep the Tallawahs at Sabina Park, shared that the government has been trying to assist and made mention of meetings involving Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
"I am in discussions with the Tallawahs and hope to find a way to give some support as I stretch the little that we have. The Tallawahs need in excess of USD 1 million each year for the next three years. We cannot find that. I have to be clear and up front about that. We cannot find that. In fact, it's in excess of US$1.5 million. But, working with the private sector we could find a way. So this evening, I make a special appeal to corporate Jamaica to come on board with the Jamaica Tallawahs," Grange said.
According to Grange, the requirement of the Tallawahs is greater than the total subventions that the Ministry provides to more than 40 national sports federations each year.
(If the government were to) give the Tallawahs what they need to keep the game in Jamaica, then we would have to shut down shop and give support to no one else - and that's not possible. But we're still trying. The little that we have, we will stretch it and give them something. Yes, we have put something in the budget for them," said Grange.
Grange also pointed out that the government gave the Tallawahs approximately $7 million combined in 2015 (US$25,000) and 2017 (US$35,000).
Tallawahs owner Krishna 'Kris' Persaud recently stated that he still hopes to keep the franchise in Jamaica but is prepared to relocate if a partnership cannot be agreed upon with the Government.
"We need a creative partnership with the Jamaican Government," Persaud told STAR Sports. "They said, 'We will have something for you in a week, or in a couple weeks,' but that has been the mantra for over a year and a half, since 2017.