Sun | Sep 19, 2021

Cricket is not being neglected - Grange assures JCA as sports officials await meeting with Government

Published:Wednesday | February 3, 2021 | 12:22 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Action from the 2019 SDC Community T20 Cricket Competition in Springfield, St Thomas.
Action from the 2019 SDC Community T20 Cricket Competition in Springfield, St Thomas.
Grange
Grange
Francis
Francis
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Sports Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange has sought to assure cricketing interests that the sport is not being neglected in resumption talks, on the back of concerns raised by chief executive officer of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Courtney Francis.

Francis said his organisation is eager to get the sport back on track after the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but stated that they were yet to secure a meeting with the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Sports to discuss safety protocols and restrictions.

Grange announced recently that she has met with several sporting officials, among them those from the Jamaica Football Federation and the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, adding that they are now finalising their protocols for the restart of their respective sports.

“I have not received any correspondent from any of the ministries as to when our meeting will be taking place. However, I am optimistic that this will happen very soon,” said Francis.

“We were one of the first organisations to have submitted our protocols to both ministries and so we are just here waiting to hear from them,” he added. “We sent off a team to the Regional Super50 Cup on Sunday without any issues because everybody has been briefed on all the protocols and what is expected of them at the tournament, and I am confident that they all will adhere to these protocols.”

GETTING CRICKET BACK ON TRACK

Francis underscored that the development of cricket has suffered a lot over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and implored the Government to move swiftly to ensure that the sport gets back on track in short order.

He also added that his organisation has implemented a number of plans for the restart of the sport, and so as soon as they get the go-ahead to kick-start their activities, then they will roll out these new measures.

“The Government has made it clear that they are going to be restarting sports with some conditions, and so we are just awaiting those directives and then we will be ready to roll out all the plans that we have in place for the sport,” Francis said. “All sports have been suffering and the economy is suffering because it is a global pandemic and a number of things that will be taking place are not taking place, so it is reasonable that we can understand that sort of impact.”

However, when contacted yesterday, Grange told The Gleaner that the JCA should not feel left out and that they will be meeting with them in short order.

“We have communicated and we have been in dialogue with the JFF, Boxing Federation, Swimming Association, and we are about to resolve outstanding matters with them, and so as soon as we have signed the arrangements with those disciplines, then we will move to address other outstanding matters to do with other disciplines,” said Grange.

“They should not feel left out because we are working very hard to ensure the safe return of all sports in Jamaica,” she said.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com