In a country which has no services available for persons whose lives have been destroyed by alcohol consumption, there is a certain irony in how the Caribbean Premier League deals with the Guyanese branding of alcohol.
Beneficial and very Guyanese Limacol is branded in the cricket. But we are told in several reports this week, that El Dorado Rum will be Spirit of the Caribbean Premier League. According to the VP of marketing, Mr Samaroo, “The Eldorado Rum brand embodies the spirit of Guyana and the Caribbean ‒ competitiveness and fun, hard work and enjoyment – all at the same time.”
We could sympathise with the marketers of DDL who are probably numb and immune to the stories of the horrors of alcohol and who probably ignore the ravages wreaked on Guyanese families by that ‘spirit.’
Far from fun and competitiveness, hard work and enjoyment, the tales are more often of death, violence, illness and poverty. No enjoyment for those who have died in the accidents, no fun for the children who have to make the decisions about whether to honour their parents’ wishes to go and buy the product which will result in further problems for them.
Is this the Spirit of Guyana we are promoting in this Caribbean Premier League? Do we want our cricketers to dishonour those children, women and men whose lives have been wrecked by the consumption of rum?
Hashim Aamla is a South African cricketer who has had to advocate hard to remove himself from the alcohol branding of cricket. A few years ago he paid a fine for refusing to carry an alcohol brand. Would the CPL be penalising any of the cricketers who would want to distance themselves from the ‘Spirit of Guyana and the Caribbean’ and who might want to promote a different kind of vision for our society in which alcohol consumption is not celebrated?