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The revised agreement will most likely come into effect on October 1. Bruce Aanensen, the chief executive officer of the WICB, said, "It is not a new contract, but it is more of an extension of the existing contract with some fairly significant amendments.
"The contract was to end in January 2010 and, as part of our negotiations with Digicel, it was agreed that they would relieve us of some of the onerous things the WICB could not deliver upon. In turn, they asked for an extension of the agreement which we found to be a quite reasonable request on the part of Digicel, giving all that we had asked for."
The agreement will guarantee annual sponsorship payments of at least US$4 million from which there will be no deductions, a point of contention in the old agreement. "Under the old contract, there were some clauses with which he had some difficulty with the interpretations and these have been sorted out," Aanensen said.
The new contract offers more opportunities for the board to get corporate sponsors. The opportunities include branding rights at Test match grounds and sponsorship rights to any three-nation series the WICB might organise.
"One of the big costs to the WICB in this contract in the past has been a 10% fee due to an intermediary who brought the two parties together," Aanensen said. "Digicel has agreed that instead of the WICB taking up this expense, they would also take responsibility for this.
"Digicel have scaled back on some of the branding opportunities they have had in the original contract and this would allow us the chance to do some branding of our own or to sell some branding to some of the sponsors of our other tournaments. In the tri-nations tournaments that we have, and any tournament run by the ICC, if Digicel brought the sponsor to the table, they got a percentage of the sponsorship money.
"If WICB brought the sponsor, WICB got 60% and Digicel got 40%, but they are now saying if we are having a problem finding a sponsor, they can assist. They have, however, said we must go ahead and get a sponsor and they do not want anything out of it, so that has given us an opportunity to earn additional income.
Digicel will continue its development initiatives like the cricket scholarship programme and training clinics. The company has also expressed its interest in being part of the proposed academy to be launched in November at the Cave Hill campus at the University of the West Indies.
Recently, Digicel also provided funds for the fielding coach and team psychologist during the West Indies tour to England. They started a scholarship programme, with Jerome Taylor, the Jamaican fast bowler, being the first beneficiary. Taylor will have the chance to play for Leicestershire through the remainder of the season.