A move for the future Busta and Windies cricket
- A great partnership

Stabroek News
December 21, 1999

It's a bold move that will take effect first with the Busta Cup 2000. It should pay off in years to come, but then no one may remember this WICB decision that made a difference that is, allowing children (those under the age of 18) and women accompanying them to attend regional and domestic cricket free of charge. This decision is intended to encourage young people to attend cricket and grow to learn and love the sport that has brought so much joy to their elders. This is an extension of the old "Schoolboy Stand" concept that was standard in years gone by and the more recent hosting of school children at each of the Test and One-Day Matches by Cable and Wireless. Allowing children free admission to domestic and regional cricket is just one of the measures being taken to ensure the tradition of outstanding West Indian cricket widely supported by our people is extended into the new millennium. Chief Marketing Executive of the WICB has hinted that other major initiatives in children's cricket will be announced in the New Year.

The question has been raised as to why women accompanying children are also being allowed in free. This decision was taken as a further incentive to get children to attend the games since women are heavily involved in the supervision of young children; while men are more likely to attend cricket anyway.

The WICB is not just being magnanimous, rather we are building an audience for the future. As any cricket fan knows, once you get "hooked" on cricket it's hard not to follow the sport. And of course, most of our great players had that first vision of playing for West Indies while watching one of the cricketing heroes of their time at their home ground.

Busta and Windies cricket - A great partnership
The sponsors of the Busta Cup Series, SM Jaleel & Co. Ltd, manufacturers of Busta soft drinks are reporting excellent response to their sponsorship of West Indies Cricket. Ian Kallo of SM Jaleel speaking at the Busta Cup 2000 media launch in Barbados, said that in 1999 the first year of the sponsorship there had been a dramatic increase in the sales of Busta in Barbados, where the Final was held and won by the home team. The company has also had increased sales this year in other Caribbean countries. Moreover, independent research has shown Busta for the first time as one of the top 10 Caribbean brands recognised by respondents as involved in sponsorship of any kind. This is certainly an achievement after just one year of their involvement. In fact, seven of the top ten brands identified with sponsorship by Caribbean respondents were named for their association with cricket. These results make the business case clearly for cricket sponsorship in the West Indies.

On the cricket side there has also been evidence that the Busta Cup Series is having an impact on West Indies cricket and is destined to play an important role in the development of our players. The players have excellent incentives from the sponsors once again this year. The winning team will receive increased prize money of US$12000 and the second placed team US$6000, while the tournament MVP wins US$2000 and the Man of the Match for each game gets US$150. There are also incentives of US$1000 for the bowler taking more than 10 wickets per game and US$500 for batsmen making a century and the fielder with the most catches overall.

Christmas greetings
The West Indies Cricket Board extends best wishes for a happy and safe Christmas to all readers of "Across the Board" and the management and staff of the newspapers that carry this column, especially the editors who ensure that it appears. We also send Christmas greetings and best wishes to our Windies Team in New Zealand who will actually be playing while we are celebrating on Christmas night here in the Caribbean.

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