|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
December 29, 2004
The West Indies women's cricket team could be forced to withdraw from the World Cup if sponsorship is not secured soon. Funding problems continue to overshadow their preparations for the tournament, which will be held in South Africa in March 2005.
Only $23,000 of the $216,000 cost of participating has been raised so far, which barely covers the cost of one of the three planned training camps. Money still has to be raised for flights, accommodation, uniforms and cricket gear.
"I pray that something happens soon," the coach, Ann Browne-John, told Cricinfo. "Most of us are having sleepless nights because of it." The players themselves have been asked to concentrate on their training, but Browne-John concedes that "it is definitely starting to adversely affect them."
The first camp was held in October, under assurances from West Indies Cricket Board that they would fund one of the camps, which cost between $20,000 and $30,000. But, after the camp had taken place, the board then declared it would only commit $15,000. An unnamed corporation stepped in to make up the $8000 shortfall on this occasion, but so far no sponsorship has been secured for the other two camps, which are due to be held in January and February.
Other attempts to raise funds have proved unsuccessful. The Trinidad & Tobago government promised some funding, but would not reveal how much. Meanwhile, all of the region's sports ministers have been approached, but with no luck. Corporations throughout the region have either ignored requests for financial assistance or explained that their annual budgets have already been done.
The West Indies Women's Cricket Federation (WIWCF) has had two meetings with Dr Keith Mitchell, the prime minister of Grenada, who also heads up the Caricom Governments' Cricket Committee. But the cricket committee itself has not responded to the pleas for financial aid.
And now the WIWCF is fast running out of ideas. One option would be to ask individual countries to pay for their players, but a hopeful Browne-John says this would be a last resort, saying: "We are optimistic that a sponsor will still come forward."
Financial deadlines are looming - the airlines will soon ask for down-payments on flights - but Browne-John still holds out hope. "I am not thinking of the option of not raising the money," she said. "We have committed to going, and we just have to find the funds."
Also, top-scoring in both innings, most Test dismissals caught, and the oldest Test centurion
Plays of the Day from the Champions League T20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Perth Scorchers, in Bangalore
Chasing Chennai Super Kings' 242, Dolphins opener Cameron Delport played nine action-packed deliveries in his innings. Here's what happened ball by ball
Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Dolphins and Lahore Lions in Bangalore
Cricket should look to not only shore up struggling and emerging cricketing nations but also to export the game with entrepreneurial vigour
West Indies' ODI squad for India is surprisingly light on spin, but the tour is an opportunity for Samuels and Russell to make strong comebacks
Without more fixtures with Full Members, they can't get more funds. Without funds, they can't keep their players
Amol Muzumdar, who has announced his retirement from first-class cricket, reflects on his career, missing out on Test cricket, and more