Digicel Cayman rekindling its cricket love affair

Digicel Cayman CEO Raul Nicholson-Coe (left) with Cayman Cricket Technical Director Peter Anderson.

“Digicel is synonymous with cricket in the Caribbean,” Digicel Cayman CEO Raul Nicholson-Coe said as he watched some of the islands’ best cricketers train at Smith Road Oval in preparation for their upcoming international challenge.

The telecommunications firm has been front and centre of the sport in the region since taking over sponsorship of the West Indies team more than a decade ago. Now, the company wants to help with the resurgence of cricket in the Cayman Islands.

That has started with a sponsorship of the national men’s team competing in the ICC World Cricket League Division 5 tournament starting 3 September in South Africa. Digicel has provided the players with training uniforms.

“We felt it necessary to support our local guys as well,” Nicholson-Coe said, pointing to the company’s wide involvement in the sport, including the Caribbean Premier League that’s now in full swing. He’s also an avid fan of the game.

National team player Omar Willis is also a Digicel employee.

At this stage, Digicel’s contribution to the national team isn’t extensive but there are plans to invest more into the sport locally. Nicholson-Coe said something more long-term and more strategic is being looked at.

“We’re expanding the way we get into cricket…also at the youth level, we’re seeing how we can help the youth programme to grow from strength to strength. There are great coaches and there’s a lot of focus on youth cricket and we want to continue to get involved at that level to promote the game,” he said.

Cayman Cricket’s executive treasurer Rob Cox was delighted to have Digicel on board.

“We’ve been asking for sponsors for the longest while. It’s been challenging in the current economic climate to get sponsors to come forward…we’re very, very happy that Digicel has come on board to help us,” said Cox, who is also manager of the team playing in South Africa.

“We’re hoping it can go as fast as possible. We’re actually in talks with Digicel to give us further sponsorship next year. Plans are in the works for them to put some things in place to help us with some of the things we do throughout the year,” he added.

Both Nicholson-Coe and Cox pointed out there was nothing concrete but both sounded optimistic of a happy union going forward.

The team has also attracted the support of eye-wear company Peripheral, which has issued all members with sunglasses for the upcoming tour. Cayman Cricket also has a sponsorship deal with online equipment store CricMax, whose logo is on the team’s match uniforms.

The Cayman Islands opens play against Qatar on 3 September, followed by a match versus Guernsey the next day, and then against Italy on 6 September. The top two teams from the group advance to the semi-finals on 7 September for a chance at the finals two days later.

If Cayman makes it to the final, they will be promoted to ICC World Cricket League Division 4.


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