Jamaica's visually impaired cricket team will not be defending their title at the West Indies regional tournament next week, after coming up short on funds to participate in the tournament set for St Lucia.
The cricketers were scheduled to leave the island tomorrow, but public relations officer, Jason Ricketts, told STAR Sports that the players only have $1.6 million of the $3.3 million needed to attend the tournament.
Ironically, the team would have had the funds to travel and pay for accommodation, but, according to Ricketts, a subvention provided by the Sports Development Foundation (SDF) was used to provide players with lunch and travel subsistence while they were in training.
"We are pretty down but we are still positive because we were able to give players bus fare and lunch at training because before it was tough for them. They didn't have anything to go back home.
"But if we didn't do that this year, we would be at the tournament. The players understand, but at the end of the day we had to make some decisions."
He added that the association had made an appeal to corporate Jamaica for sponsorship but was unsuccessful
"We never got any responses. We had an idea but we were hoping that the companies that we wrote, we would have got some positive responses. Unfortunately, nothing materialised," Ricketts added.
While the visually impaired cricket team falls under the auspices of the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA), Ricketts said they received no help from the sports local governing body.
The team, which trains at the Mico University College, would continue to train and were planning to make it to the West Indies tournament in Guyana next March.
"We are ensuring that the team gets down to Guyana because the T20 World Cup is in India next year and we want to make sure some players get on the team," he said.
Source: Jamaica Star
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