October 22, 2020

WICB responds to ticket price complaints


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wicbWICB Media Release.

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board has been made aware that concerns have been expressed about advance ticket-pricing for our upcoming International Home Series between West Indies and England through our Official Tour Operator (OTO) programme.

The WICB has appointed seven official United Kingdom tour operators for the England tour of the Caribbean which starts in April, offering a number of travel packages which include the right to pre-sell tickets only for the series, since there will be no online ticket sales.

“We value the fact that English cricket tours to the Caribbean always attract thousands of West Indian and English fans resident in the UK and elsewhere,” said Chief Executive Officer of the WICB, Michael Muirhead.

“Please be assured that the WICB will never knowingly take any steps which can jeopardise this long-standing relationship between cricket fans and West Indies Cricket.”

Muirhead said a number of factors however, had influenced the pricing of tickets through the OTO programme.

He said: “First, the tickets being offered to you through the OTO programme are premium seats with some of the best views of play in all three match venues. There is also the opportunity to have groups seated together depending on availability. The number of available seats is usually quite limited because of our relatively small stadium sizes.

“Secondly, pre-selling online is not available other than through the OTO programme. Making it possible for overseas fans to acquire tickets will help to prevent the frustration of long queues on match days at the match venues.”

Muirhead added: “Thirdly, the Government Authorities in all three host territories have partnered with the WICB and have invested precious public funds which help to cover the economic cost differential of the tickets which will be sold locally to citizens.

“This is why we can offer slightly more attractive prices for local consumption only. This policy has traditionally been responsible for creating the uniquely festive atmosphere inside the stadium grounds for which the Caribbean has become renowned.”

Muirhead noted offering tickets at a differential price through the OTO programme is a common industry practice and has been done in major sports and entertainment events around the World, including previous England tours to the Caribbean and other cricket destinations.

“In this regard, we have licensed International Cricket Tours, Howzat Travel, Sports Tours Plus, Thomas Cook Tour Operators, Gullivers/Barmy Army, Independent Travel Experts (part of the Travel Network Group) and Living with the Lions Sports Travel as our exclusive commercial travel providers,” he said.

“We are confident that this group of experienced tour companies can coordinate all travel and ticketing arrangements, while ensuring that visitors will carry wonderful memories home. WICB extends a warm invitation to all cricket supporters, including our friends in the UK, to come to the Caribbean and enjoy the exciting cricket culture and atmosphere which only our islands can provide.”


Related story:

Darren Sammy: From a smiling ‘loser’ to the glue that binds West Indies together

sammyap-mBy Sriram Veera From Indian Express

Beyond the runs, wickets, and catches, we watch sports for characters to emerge and personalities to develop. Boys turning into men, shyness morphing into confidence, and sometimes, the reverse slide as well, a confident man reduced to a pale shadow of his former self. In that context, it has been fascinating to see the rise and rise of Darren Sammy of the West Indies.

On the field, Chris Gayle might still be the cool dude, Jason Holder the new captain, hailed by the likes of Curtly Ambrose, but it’s Sammy who is the most spirited soul of this team. He has now acquired a sense of presence about him and that has been the transformational journey over the last couple of years.

It wasn’t like that in the recent past. In fact, it was hellish for him even back in the Caribbean. Especially back in Caribbean. A new player thrust into captaincy, a St Lucian in a board with a St Lucian president and CEO, and someone who was not given much love by the populace. Back in 2011, in stadiums across the Caribbean, he was given the stick. By virtue of being selected by the board in the times of Gayle’s stand-off, he was seen as an anti-Gayle man. Peals of laughter, a humiliating, ridiculing laugh swirled around the stadiums and chants went out against Sammy.

Sammy of old
“When I am out on the field I don’t think I hear the crowd. When I get out there, I block everything around me. I try not to take on what’s said from outside,” was Sammy’s response then.

Whenever you met him off the field, at the hotel, or at the ground, he would always smile. He would talk about how he wanted to be a priest as a kid, how his mother told him to just look internally for validation and not bother about other people’s comments. One night at Dominica, right at the end of the series, he danced at the team hotel. Jivving, shaking, laughing — a happy man at peace with himself. A thought did occur that about that moment in that open hotel bar and that night was probably going to be Sammy’s best night as a West Indies player.

It wasn’t. That came in Sri Lanka when he lifted the World T20 trophy and though these days he isn’t the captain anymore, and still smiles, there is something else that has crept in. A steely edge, a kind of confidence that can only come from success and the smiling “loser” is now hailed as the glue that holds this team together.

Sammy is the one who is now sent out to talk-up the team and respond to criticisms or send out a shot of bravado to the opposition. On Wednesday, he talked up West Indies’ chances against New Zealand on Saturday. “It’s a big match, but I remember some guy called Douglas beating Mike Tyson. It’s a case of that on Saturday. It’s been a long time (since West Indies won the World Cup), but New Zealand has not won any. The guys know what’s at stake and we’re going to do everything in our powers to beat Mike Tyson.”

More bravado came out next. “We’ve played New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the World Twenty20 and when it came down to crunch time, we won. Same set of players. This time around it won’t be any different. It will be a full house rooting for New Zealand, but we know that within our group, once we do the basics well, we are unstoppable. We’ve been very inconsistent, that’s a fact. But it’s a knockout game and if we put all the good things that we know we can do right, no team will beat us. And I know the other teams know that as well.”

Piece of mind
A short while earlier, Sammy indulged in some banter with Holder in the batting nets. In the last game, they had a bit of a tiff — Sammy giving his piece of mind to Holder who had taken him off after just an over and the young captain had stood his ground. “That’s a single to the man at 45 (degrees), that’s two past the man at 60,” Sammy called out to Holder, who bowled some offspin to him, after tapping the ball to fine-leg region. “That’s a single only to you,” pat came the reply from Holder. “Come on, ma’an. Forty-five, easily single! That’s what I told ya! I keep tellin ya, every time!” Holder waved his hand, and Sammy went. “Just bowl, don’t talk, just bowl.”

At the presser, Sammy himself nailed the difference in his character in the last few years. He was talking about the tiff with Holder in the previous game and it caught the difference well. “Perhaps, it’s kind of surprising because it involved me, people don’t see me behave that way, but it was just that I wasn’t happy with the decision.” Sammy of 2011 wouldn’t have dreamt of doing something like this.

“There’s no animosity between Jason and I. Jason and I go way back, we’re like brothers. I was one of the first guys to come out and give my support, made sure the dressing room rallied behind Jason. There’s nothing to write about.” Actually, there is lot to write about Sammy.

For more on this story go to: http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket-world-cup/2321494/sammy-from-a-smiling-loser-to-the-glue-that-binds-wi-together/2/#sthash.tMfqVVUH.dpuf

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