Windies cricket's main sponsor Digicel calls it quits before the Sri Lanka series

Windies cricket’s main sponsor Digicel calls it quits before the Sri Lanka series

Windies cricket has faced yet another problem in the grand scheme of things.

Andre Fletcher
Andre Fletcher. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

It comes as a heavy blow to the already battered Windies cricket team as their principal sponsor Digicel departs a week before the commencement of the home series against Sri Lanka. The telecommunication company has been the chief sponsor of Cricket Windies for over 13 years now. The multi-million dollar deal was first struck in the 2004-05 season, with effect from the tour of Australia.

In 2016, the deal was extended for four years, to be expired in 2019-20. However, disputes and disagreements have compelled the company to part their ways from the Windies board prematurely a year before the contract ended. The familiar logo of Digicel will no longer be seen on the jerseys of the men’s, women’s and U-19 teams of the Windies.

In a statement released by the board, they have thanked the company for their continuous support for over a decade, and hinted at the announcement of a new sponsor soon enough.

Windies Board’s reaction

On behalf of the board, the director of the commercial, marketing and communications department, Dominic Warne said, “On behalf of everyone at Windies Cricket, I would like to thank Digicel for their fantastic support over the past 13 years. It has been a great and successful partnership for both Cricket West Indies and Digicel. We are now primed to take on a number of new initiatives as part of our recently announced strategic plan to make cricket the heartbeat of the Caribbean. We hope to make an announcement on our new long-term principal partner soon.”

The exact reason behind the end of the sponsorship agreement is not clear. None of the parties has made any comment on the issue. Digicel’s chief financial officer Raymond Leclercq also refused to make a statement on the reasons, and only focused on the positives.

Digicel’s statement

“Over the years, we have been very successful in forging sponsorship partnerships with the things we know our customers love most,” Leclercq said.“This approach has helped us to grow the Digicel brand to be the number one brand in the region and to make a lasting impression on our customers. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank Cricket West Indies for 13 years of amazing partnership and for the opportunity and privilege of helping to bring the fun, thrill and excitement of the game of cricket to a wider audience and in new and engaging ways.”

Team West Indies will be playing three tests against the visiting Sri Lankan team from June 6-27. Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad, Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St. Lucia and Kensington Oval in Barbados are the scheduled venues.

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