Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Tallawahs tapping into US Market - CEO

Published:Tuesday | August 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
The Jamaica Tallawahs have qualified for the play-offs of the Caribbean Premier League last night. Jamaica Tallawahs 157 for 5 (Sangakkara 69, Powell 43) beat St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 116 (Lewis 40, Santokie 3-10, Oshane 3-31) by 41 runs.

Jamaica Tallawahs Chief Executive Officer Jefferson Miller has reiterated that the franchise is not planning to permanently relocate to the United States.

"We are not neglecting our fans here. The Jamaica Tallawahs are a Jamaican team and will always be," Miller said after local fans voiced their frustration at the limited number of home Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) games that the team will be playing in Jamaica this season.

The Tallawahs are scheduled to play their home games against the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinbago Knight Riders, and the Barbados Tridents at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, Florida.

The other two games will be played today and tomorrow against the St Lucia Stars and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Sabina Park in Kingston.

But Miller said the franchise's decision to play three of their home games in Florida is an attempt to cater to the growing market for cricket in the United States.

"The Jamaica Tallawahs is a global brand. We are trying to expand cricket in North America, especially in the Lauderhill area. The diaspora is huge in Florida, and with the brand that the Jamaica Tallawahs carry, we thought that it would be great to expand the cricket in that area," Miller told The Gleaner. "Two games were played there last year, and four games were played here, and next year, it can change again. We are just trying to cater to that market."

Miller refuted claims that the franchise decided to move most of its home games to the Sunshine State because the rental fee for Sabina Park is high in comparison to the venue in Florida, which also partly belongs to Tallawahs owner Kris Persuad.

"We only bought the team last year, so we haven't done an assessment as to whether it is more profitable to host games here (in Jamaica) or in Florida," Miller explained. "But what I can say is that we had four home games here last year and the support was not that great."

Persuad bought the franchise from Ron Parikh and Manish Patel just before the 2017 edition of the competition began.

After the purchase, it is reported that Persuad made the decision for the franchise to play at least three of its home games in Florida. It was also reported that Persuad intends to permanently relocate the team to Florida.

The team made an unbelievable comeback to win their first match against the Trinibago Knight Riders last Friday, after they were given a CPL record total to chase, and was reeling at 41/5 after seven overs.

akino.ming@gleanerjm.com