QPCC: WICB decision to shift cricket came as a surprise

The Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) has stated that its is extremely disappointed to learn of the decision of the WICB to relocate the preliminary round of the regional T20 tournament from the Queen’s Park Oval to the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds in Antigua.

In a press statement yesterday the QPCC said the decision by the WICB came as a surprise as the club was still in negotiations with the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board.

The WICB earlier this week sent out a statement indicating that the reasons given for this decision to move the matches were are follows:- The high rental cost (reported to be US$100,000) imposed by QPCC for the six (6) days of cricket as compared to the Antigua ground, which is Government controlled and hence ‘cheaper’. And the purported unavailability of the ground on January 14, 2012.

QPCC stated yesterday: “The QPCC has been in discussion with the WICB with regard to the proposed tournament since June of this year, and in November was advised by the WICB that the TTCB would be hosting the tournament on WICB’s behalf in Trinidad and QPCC must negotiate the rental fees and all other costs with the TTCB.

“Negotiations between the QPCC and TTCB commenced on November 21 and prior to the conclusion thereof QPCC received a letter from the WICB proposing a rental fee significantly less than that proposed by the TTCB. QPCC responded indicating that it would be prepared to accept the fee proposed by the TTCB (not the US$100,000 reported). This was followed by several calls and emails to the WICB over the following days seeking to ascertain the WICB’s position and thus conclude the negotiations.

“On 2nd December, without further discussion or communication a letter was received from the WICB stating that the WICB was unable to meet the conditions put forward and therefore will not require the use of the Queen’s Park Oval for the T20 tournament.”

QPCC also stated that it is important to note, they were instructed to engage the TTCB to negotiate the ground rent and other costs. The negotiations were not completed either with the TTCB or the WICB prior to the receipt of the December 2 letter from the WICB;

The QPCC has never advised the WICB that the venue was unavailable on January 14 but had indicated to the WICB, in June 2011, that there was a prior booking that would have to be accommodated on that day (which was accepted by the WICB).

The QPCC is a private members club and maintains its international cricket venue using its own financial resources. It receives no financial assistance from the government of Trinidad and Tobago and hence must charge a rental fee for the use of the facility.

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