Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced the signing of another major long-term broadcast rights agreement, this time with Sky New Zealand for the exclusive live coverage to all West Indies home matches played in the Caribbean.

The agreement covering both television and digital rights will mean that Sky New Zealand including its Sky Go mobile app and Sky Sport Now streaming app will offer live coverage and highlights of televised West Indies regional tournaments including the current and future editions of the CG Insurance Super50 Cup.

The agreement will feature next month’s visit of Sri Lanka for three CG Insurance T20Is, three CG Insurance ODIs and two Test matches. Later this year West Indies is expected to host South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. The postponed 2020 white ball series against New Zealand is likely to be rescheduled into 2022.

“CWI is pleased to announce that we will be doing business with another leading sports broadcaster, Sky New Zealand,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“We are continuing to ensure an expanding worldwide coverage of the exciting West Indies brand of international and regional cricket.”

Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI, welcomed the new agreement.

“This landmark long-term agreement with Sky New Zealand will ensure West Indies matches and New Zealand tours of the West Indies can be watched live on TV and mobile devices. This partnership delivers on our strategy to deliver the best of West Indies cricket to fans all over the world,” he said.

Sophie Moloney, CEO Sky New Zealand said fans love to see the West Indies play.

“The West Indies have always delivered some of the most exciting and explosive cricket, appreciated by fans around the world. New Zealand cricket lovers are no exception, and we look forward to continuing our fantastic relationship on behalf of our customers,” she said.

This is CWI’s fourth new broadcast rights agreement announced in recent weeks, following announcements with ESPN+ for the United States; BT Sport for the United Kingdom and Ireland; and SuperSport for sub-Saharan Africa including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya.

 

 Cricket West Indies (CWI) today confirmed its third new multi-year broadcast rights agreement with SuperSport securing the rights to West Indies cricket until the end of 2024 in sub-Saharan Africa.

The four-year agreement will see SuperSport feature exclusive live coverage of all West Indies international home matches and regional tournaments played in the Caribbean on its television and digital platforms.

As part of the agreement, West Indies cricket will now be seen in over 54 African countries and islands, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya. SuperSport’s coverage starts with the recently confirmed West Indies versus Sri Lanka series which commences on Wednesday, March 3 with three CG Insurance T20 International matches.

The agreement also includes the rescheduled visit by South Africa to the Caribbean in June 2021, a tour that had to be rescheduled from July 2020 due to COVID-19.

“This new long-term SuperSport agreement ensures that the much-loved West Indies teams will be accessible to an expanded number of African consumer markets with sub-Saharan Africa’s premier broadcaster,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

“As CWI’s third major media rights agreement finalized in the past few weeks, we are excited that SuperSport will be featuring every international series and regional tournament from the Caribbean, including the upcoming Sri Lanka Series and the rescheduled tour of the West Indies by South Africa in June.”

 Johnny Grave, CWI CEO said the agreement is another step of taking West Indies crickets into new markets.

 “We are absolutely delighted to confirm this significant four-year agreement with SuperSport to ensure that millions of cricket fans in Sub-Saharan Africa can follow West Indies Cricket in the Caribbean,” Grave said.

“By partnering with Africa’s leading sports broadcaster, CWI continues to deliver against our strategic objective of increasing the worldwide audience for and access to one of the world’s most loved cricket teams and regions.”

 This is the third major broadcast agreement announced by CWI following the recent ground-breaking agreements with ESPN+ for the United States market and with BT Sport for the United Kingdom and Ireland markets.​

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has signed a five-year deal with BT Sport for the exclusive live coverage in the United Kingdom of all West Indies international home matches played in the Caribbean.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has finalized a groundbreaking new five-year deal with ESPN+ for the exclusive media and digital rights in the United States to all West Indies international home matches and regional tournaments.

CWI’s media partnership with ESPN will bring West Indies cricket to millions of households and viewers across the United States through the ESPN+ sports streaming service.

The ESPN+ partnership will feature live broadcast of every international West Indies home series covering all T20 Internationals, One-Day Internationals and Test matches within the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme (FTP). Commencing with the all-format Tour of the Caribbean by Sri Lanka in March, ESPN+ first year will feature series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan in 2021 building to five home series in 2022 including tours by England and India.

“This is CWI’s largest-ever media rights agreement in the USA and is the first of several new multi-year agreements which we will confirm in the coming weeks. Broadcast media rights income is crucial to the future financial sustainability of CWI, and this five-year rights agreement is just the start of good things to come,” said CWI President Ricky Skerritt.

The new agreement also includes CWI’s marquee regional 50-over tournament, the CG Insurance Super50 Cup, which is also aired exclusively in the Caribbean by ESPN.

The CG Insurance Super50 Cup will be the first live cricket from the West Indies in the partnership, as the biggest regional rivalries and world-class players take the stage from February 7 to 27 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua http://www.windiescricket.com).

“ESPN is THE sports channel for American households and sports fans and we’re delighted that West Indies cricket will now be enjoyed in the homes and on the devices of millions of Americans. We have an ambitious strategic plan to grow our brand and content in North America, and ESPN is the perfect partner to help us achieve our goals,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

Meanwhile, John Lasker, Vice President, ESPN Digital Media Programming said Cricket West Indies is among the best in the world and their ICC schedule over the next few years is second to none.

“Cricket has always been a priority for us with ESPNcrincinfo leading the way as the premier destination for cricket coverage and news. Adding a strong slate of CWI events to ESPN+ is just the latest example of our commitment to cricket and serving fans with the best, most comprehensive cricket content in the U.S,” he said.

 

The CG Insurance Super50 Cup bowls off on Sunday, February 7 with the Leewards Hurricanes taking on the Windwards Volcanoes at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only 19 matches will be played in the tournament scheduled to conclude on February 27.

According to Cricket West Indies, the health risks related to the COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruption to all domestic cricket since late March 2020, with no competitive cricket allowed regionally except for an abridged version of the Caribbean Premier League which took place last August in Trinidad.

This year’s annual CG Insurance Super50 Cup will provide a platform for the region’s six major cricketing rivals to clash in 19 action-packed 50-over matches starting from Sunday, February 7 when Leeward Islands Hurricanes host the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

The tournament will come to an exciting climax when the new champions are crowned on Saturday, February 27.

The 2019-20 champions, West Indies Emerging Players, are unable to defend their 2019 trophy due to COVID-19 constraints, however, several of those players now feature in the squads of the six competing franchise teams, one of which will emerge as the CG Insurance Super50 Cup champions.

Each team will play each other on a round-robin basis with the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals and the opportunity to reach the grand final.

Matches will be played at Antigua’s two international cricket venues - the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS). There will be 13 matches at CCG including the semi-finals and final, and six matches at SVRS.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said it was good to have regional cricket back after a one-year break.

"It is very good that cricket is coming back to the Caribbean ... players will get the opportunity to showcase their skills and entertain our fans. It has been a trying 2020 for cricketers and the whole Caribbean, so it is really good that we have the CG Insurance Super50 Cup being played at this time and hopefully it can unearth some new talent,” he said.

CWI has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport in Antigua & Barbuda to orchestrate logistics and agree the safety and medical protocols for the commencement and duration of the tournament.

All players, support staff, match officials and supporting professionals will be tested with negative COVID-19 results before their arrival into Antigua. Players, support staff and match officials will operate within a bio-secure bubble and will be tested at regular intervals during the tournament with assistance from the local Ministry of Health and CARPHA.

 

“A huge amount of planning and work has been put in to ensure that the Super50 Cup can return and CWI would like to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, title partners CG Insurance, our host broadcasters ESPN Caribbean and our colleagues at the Leeward Islands Cricket Board and the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association, for all of their support in helping to stage the tournament during these unprecedented times,” said CWI CEO Johnny Grave.

Meanwhile, Naz Farrow, CEO of CG Insurance said the company was happy to be able to continue supporting regional cricket.

“CG Insurance is proud to sponsor the CWI Super50 Cup and thrilled to be a part of the first tournament of 2021. We are happy to support the many players and organizers involved and recognize the major efforts that have gone into the preparation of this event during these unique times. By partnering with the CWI series, we have the opportunity to support our various Caribbean nations and to showcase that we are stronger together,” he said.

The CG Insurance Super50 Cup is the marquee 50-over event in the West Indies featuring the six long-standing territorial rivals– Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, and the Windward Islands Volcanoes.

This is the second edition of the Super50 Cup featuring CG Insurance as title sponsors, and the event promises to stage big performances and memorable moments as the teams go in pursuit of winning the coveted CG Insurance Super50 Cup and being awarded the Sir Clive Lloyd Trophy.

Below is the match schedule for the CG Insurance Super50 Cup

 

Sun, Feb 7 - Leewards Hurricanes v Windwards Volcanoes (day match)  - CCG

Mon, Feb 8 - Guyana Jaguars v Barbados Pride - CCG

Wed, Feb 10 - Leewards Hurricanes v Barbados Pride - CCG

Thur, Feb 11 - Jamaica Scorpions v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - SVRS

Fri, Feb 12 - Leewards Hurricanes v Guyana Jaguars - CCG

Sat, Feb 13 - Windwards Volcanoes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

Sun, Feb 14 - Jamaica Scorpions v Guyana Jaguars - CCG

Mon, Feb 15 - Trinidad & Tobago Red Force v Barbados Pride - SVRS

Tue, Feb 16 - Windwards Volcanoes v Jamaica Scorpions - CCG

Wed, Feb 17 - Leewards Hurricanes v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

Thu, Feb 18 - Windwards Volcanoes v Barbados Pride - SVRS

Fri, Feb 19 - Leewards Hurricanes v Jamaica Scorpions - SVRS

Sat, Feb 20 - Guyana Jaguars v Trinidad & Tobago Red Force - CCG

 

Sun, Feb 21 - Barbados Pride v Jamaica Scorpions - CCG

Mon, Feb 22 – Windwards Volcanoes v Guyana Jaguars - SVRS

Wed, Feb 24 - SEMI-FINAL 1 - CCG

Thur, Feb 25 - SEMI-FINAL 2 - CCG

Fri, Feb 26 - Fifth placed v Sixth placed -SVRS

Sat, Feb 27 – FINAL - CCG

Cricket West Indies are engaged in what they describe as ‘positive discussions’ with Sandals Resorts for the latter to resume as its primary sponsor.

Sandals signed on as the CWI’s primary sponsor in 2018 in a partnership that covered all West Indies teams from U15s through to the senior men’s and women’s outfits. The Sandals’ logo featured on all West Indies playing and training kit as part of the deal that expired at the end of last year.

Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave confirmed to Sportsmax.TV today that positive discussions are ongoing. He indicated that there will likely be a temporary halt in those discussions following news Monday night of the passing of Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, the founder of the Sandals Resorts.

He indicated that the discussions would resume at an “appropriate time”.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) will, this week, send a two-member inspection team to Bangladesh to conduct a detailed assessment ahead of the scheduled ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP) tour in January next year.

Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave said he is especially disappointed with the West Indies who breached New Zealand’s strict Covid-19 protocols earlier this week, is that they arguably are the most experienced dealing with being in isolation since the return of competitive cricket.

Grave also hinted at the possibility of individual sanctions facing as many as four or five players who are alleged to have been involved and said there were plans to interview all the players and personnel who would have information salient to an investigation into the matter.

In a statement Tuesday night, CWI said it had launched an investigation to the reports that several players had breached protocols and as a result had been banned from training for the final two days of isolation.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health reported that members of the team were confirmed to have repeatedly broken isolation rules. Many of the incidents were captured on close circuit television and have been reported by staff at the facility where the players are being housed.

New Zealand cricket said the incidents included some players compromising bubble integrity by sharing food, and socializing in hallways. However, there is no evidence that any members of the touring party left the facility, or that any unauthorized persons accessed it.

An embarrassed Grave speaking to media on a Zoom call expressed his disappointment at the situation while supporting the sanctions imposed on the players.

“I think my disappointment is mainly the fact that our players are probably the most experienced players in the world in dealing with these strict quarantine measures. I am not, for any second, saying that they’re easy and living in them day in and day out is obviously a massive challenge. It’s still not natural for people to always wear a mask and always do things we have been trained to do for so many years, living our lives in the way we have before Covid,’ he said.

“But these players, the majority of them have been in a seven-week quarantine isolation bubble for the duration of the England men’s tour that we held in June and July. They all pretty much went to Trinidad and Tobago, which had a very similar situation to New Zealand with its borders fully shut with the government dispensation to allow us to host the Caribbean Premier League, and they have been within that facility in Christchurch for virtually the whole quarantine period. So its hugely disappointing that players who knew what the protocols were have clearly broken them by mixing together.”

He said their actions have put the tour and the New Zealand population at risk.

Like the CPL, the 2021 Regional Super 50 competition will likely be held in one country as Cricket West Indies attempts to get competitions back up and running in the Caribbean. And, like the CPL that was held in Trinidad in late August, there will be no spectators.

Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave believes the addition of Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer and the competition for spaces will see the West Indies Test performing much better in New Zealand than it did in England during the summer.

Bravo and Hetmyer declined invitations to the West Indies squad for the #Raisethebatseries in England in July citing concerns over safety. The West Indies relied on Shamarh Brooks, Shai Hope and Jermaine Blackwood during the series when they won the first Test at Southampton only to capitulate in the remaining two Tests as the home side came from behind to win the series 2-1.

For the tour of New Zealand that begins on November 27 with the first of three T20 Internationals and then two Tests, the West Indies have the services of the two middle order batsman. However, Hope was not selected due to a protracted poor run of form.

Notwithstanding, the Cricket West Indies CEO believes the Caribbean side will deliver a much better showing in what is expected to be a tough series.

“I think touring New Zealand for any team, whatever form you’re in, is challenging, particularly in the Test matches. They haven’t lost a Test match series in New Zealand for years and years against every opposition that they have faced, so we are fully aware of the challenges of playing New Zealand in their home conditions,” Grave said.

“But, I think the Test team has made progress over the last few years and in moments, they’ve obviously won Test matches. What we’re really looking for is winning series, particularly away from home.

“We started the series against England brilliantly, beating them comprehensively in the first Test and we were in a good position in the second Test to seeing out a draw to retain the Wisden trophy but that didn’t happen so I think is hungry to get some championship points in the World Test Championships and also start to prove to themselves that they’re capable of winning series and delivering on that potential.”

This belief, he said, is based on the improvement in the batting driven by competition for places when compared to the team on the England tour.

“Certainly, I am sure the batting line-up will be strengthened and be more competitive with the return of Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer etc,” Grave said.

“It’s going to be more competition for places in that middle order and batting line-up and it’s the batting where we need to show the most improvement because everyone is confident is capable of taking 20 wickets, what we need to do is get enough runs on the board to put whatever team we are playing against under pressure.”

 

 

 

 

 

On the heels of news that Andre Russell has withdrawn from the 2020 Lankan Premier League it has emerged that the all-rounder did not request a No Objection Certificate from Cricket West Indies that would allow him to play in the Sri Lankan T20 league.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) CEO Johnny Grave has hailed the upcoming women’s England tour as a good way for the region to ‘kick start’ the women’s program.

The men’s program restarted under similar circumstances when the team became one of the first to resume playing international cricket, with its tour against England last month.  With the women’s inactive for the entire period, concerns were raised regarding a need to keep them engaged and active.

With South Africa pulling out of the tour, due to prevailing concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic, the regional team was invited to fill the spot.

“It’s similar to the men in as much as the ECB has said they understand the financial position that we are in and they have agreed to pick up the cost.  So, this provides us with the best opportunity to restart our women’s program,” Grave told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“With the Guyana and Trinidad borders shut, getting the women together has been impossible.  They haven’t been training since March, since they returned from the World T20 in Australia.  This provides us with the opportunity to have three weeks of training camp prior to a couple of weeks’ worth of games.  We are playing five international T20s.  So, it really has kickstarted our women’s program, which we have been trying to do.”

The West Indies Women will play England in five Vitality International T20 matches at the Incora County Ground, Derby in September.

Cricket West Indie CEO Johnny Grave has expressed delight with the start of this season’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament, amidst complications caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

The West Indies became one of the first teams to return to international cricket last month, after embarking on a three-match tour of England.  The entire series, which the West Indies lost 2-1, took place in a biosecure environment.

Likewise, the region has been among the first to return to hosting a major T20 franchise tournament when the CPL tipped off on Tuesday.  The entire tournament will take place in Trinidad and Tobago, where another bio-secure environment has been established.  Grave believes the return of the tournament to the region’s pitches will provide a boost to players and fans alike, despite this edition being played in an empty stadium.

“I think it’s great that we have cricket back on in the region.  We are very proud of the fact that with England and Wales Cricket Board we were able to bring international cricket back to the world,” Grave said.

“It’s great for everyone in the region, it’s brilliant for our players.  It’s great for cricket fans around the world that they’ve now got almost doubleheaders every single day for the next few weeks to enjoy,” he added.

“We haven’t had any regional cricket since the West Indies Championship finished in March.  So, I think the West Indians involved in CPL alone will pick up collectively US$2m.  It is really important to them as professional cricketers that they can earn some much-needed match fees from the tournament.”

The West Indies will be among four teams that will tour New Zealand during the home season, according to media reports. The Caribbean side is scheduled to play Tests and T20 Internationals in line with the Future Tours Programme.

 David White, CEO of New Zealand Cricket said the tours would go ahead despite the ongoing pandemic, saying that managed isolation arrangements are being worked out for the visiting teams.

"We are making tremendous progress. I was just on the phone to the West Indies, they're confirmed, Pakistan is confirmed, Australia and Bangladesh... so 37 days of international cricket," White told reporters in Auckland.

However, CWI CEO Johnny Grave told Sportsmax.TV that nothing has been confirmed for the Caribbean side to visit New Zealand where there were no reported COVID-19 infections for more than three months.

The West Indies recently returned from their three-Test bio-secure #Raisethebat series in England. The hosts won the series 2-1.

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