The making of the Vincy Premier League
The executive of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Inc. has been able to conjure up the Vincy Premier League (VPL).
Without prior notice, the T/20 franchise-style ten-day cricket tournament, came out of nowhere, but equally a good relief to all.
St Vincent and the Grenadines, like the rest of the world, has been starved of live sports for the better part of two months, because of the threats of the coronavirus (Covid-9) pandemic.
Therefore, having such a tournament, at a time when others are still on lockdown, is a good take for the Vincentian psyche.
Moreso, it is a test of possibilities that are at hand, as not only St Vincent and the Grenadines, but as the rest of the world prepare for the unfolding of events in the post Covid-19 era.
But there are several benefits that the staging of the VPL can accrue.
Up front, St Vincent and the Grenadines will be on show, as the 30 matches would be streamed/televised live.
Matches, though, will be played at unusual times: 8:30 am, 10:30 am and 12:30 pm, all with the aim of capturing the cricket crazy Indian population.
This is compounded to the good, by the fact that with the VPL being powered by Dream 11, an Indian company, there is a potential viewership of approximately 80 million.
Added, the VPL will also have live commentary, live online scoring, real time statistics, social media updates and match reviews and previews.
Too, the players, who are all locals, are in line to be remunerated.
Kudos though must go to the organisers for the conceptualising the event, and grabbing the opportunity to use effectively the connections forged with Dream 11.
Maximising the outlets to have the country marketed to a wider reach of persons, can only better us a tourism destination.
And, the names of the six franchises: Salt Pond Breakers, Soufriere Hikers, Fort Charlotte Strikers, Botanic Garden Rangers, Grenadines Divers and Dark View Explorerrs, all reflect some of the gorgeous tourists sites, here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Again, this provides another avenue of exposing these attractions to the persons who have never experienced them or heard about them.
But critically, the organisers and the government authorities would be placed under the microscope, as the VPL will be played, whilst the pandemic is still with us.
Organiers are ensuring that they are staying in line with the health protocols, by instituting several guidelines.
Among them, is the provision of transportation for players to and from the Arnos Vale venue, to avoid contact with members of the public.
Also, in between innings and mid point of each innings, the players and the on field match officials, will have to hand sanitise, while no player will be allowed to use sailva on the ball.
Additionally, different assigned spaces around the players’ pavilion would be made for the teams so that they can practice physical and social distancing. This would be enforced with the presence of police officers, who would ensure that spectators sit a few seats apart.
All sounds good, but if executed well, it means that we are on to something new and something promising.
The thought of a premier league, along the lines of the many franchise cricket competitions around the world, minus the glitz and the lucrative money offers, the VPL has already engendered some professionalism in some of the local cricketers.
Heartening that the franchises have engaged in practice sessions, which augurs well and should hopefully, be carried over to the other national cricket competitions.
Most importantly, the VPL, whilst the organisers may not get this timeframe in the future, it can be the springboard for a permanent happening.
The very nature of the VPL, because of its very short version, and non-stop action, can be a good fillip for a sports tourism sell for St Vincent and the Grenadines.
So, in preparing to frame out a marquee event for the SVGCA Inc., the keepers of the sport can begin to look in the direction of the VPL as its niche.