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April 11, 2014
Star Sport


Jamaica Cricket Association talks up the business of cricket

New Jamaica Cricket Association president, Billy Heaven.

Billy Heaven, the president of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), and his executive board are fulfilling their promise to make cricket a revenue-generating sport.

After 107 days in office, the JCA has so far raised just under $30 million, according to Heaven, who was the guest speaker for the Ken's Wildflower Community Sports Club Public Session for their annual general meeting on Port Henderson Road in Portmore. Heaven spoke on the "cricket's highway", which carries two lanes heading in the same direction. Lane one speaks to the development of cricket as a game and the other to the development of cricket as a business.

"We will establish a business development committee to take care of the business side of the game of cricket and a development committee, which will take care of the cricket side of the game," Heaven said. He also mentioned that the WICB was on the same page as the JCA.

"In a month or two we will establish a commercial company, and that company will lead the commercial side of Cricket Jamaica that will make Cricket Jamaica a business and not just a game. The game of cricket will only be the product," he said.

Heaven explained that the company would have players on contract and afford them the chance to play cricket all year round in different countries.

The JCA has sought the services of GraceKennedy's Group CEO Don Wehby to chair a business development committee, and Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Fund, Everton Anderson, as his deputy. They have also put Dimario McDonald and Lenny Salmon to lead the enterprise and merchandise of the JCA.

"That once-a-year income is not enough to justify a capital outlay of just under $300 million JA dollars," Heaven said of the project, which is being implemented by the Urban Development Corporation and funded by the Indian Government and the Tourism Enhancement Fund.

"We have to look at events that are non-cricket events; we have to look entertainment; we have to look at integrating the game of cricket in other areas - which we said in our manifesto - so we can earn some returns from that huge capital outlay."

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