By Brij ParasnathGUYANA’S Gajanand Singh impressed again with an attractive 64 runs and copped the Player-of-the-Series award but Cane Farm Sports Club lifted the UWI UNICOM T20 crown when they overpowered Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) by 67 runs in the grand final contested under floodlights at the Sir Frank Worrell ground, St Augustine campus on Sunday night.DCC fell at the final hurdle when their frontline bowlers Keemo Paul, Ashmead Nedd and Singh were put to the sword by West Indies ODI and T20 opener Evin Lewis.Carnival is four weeks away but Lewis added some real Trinidadian tempo and immediately stamped his authority on the proceedings when Cane Farm were asked to take first strike, after DCC captain Derwin Christian won his fifth consecutive toss and asked his opponents to face some music.Left-handed Lewis went on the rampage from the very first ball delivered by Paul as he smashed it for a blistering boundary to open the floodgates for boundaries and sixes galore that had the appreciative crowd of over 3 000 spectators enjoying the batting fireworks on display. The attacking left-hander added another powerful boundary followed by a mighty six in the first over.Surprisingly, Gajanand Singh with his gentle off-spinners was given the second over and he was warmly greeted with four towering sixes off his first five balls. Only the fourth and sixth were not dumped outside the playing area.Sharfane Rutherford replaced Paul and he brought joy to DCC supporters when he removed Imran Khan with the third delivery of his first over. But he did not escape punishment as Lewis added a double and a four off the final two deliveries of the third over.Kellon Carmichael briefly stalled the batting momentum and bowled a maiden over to Lendl Simmons. But Lewis soon was on the charge again in the very next over bowled by left-arm spinner Ashmead Nedd, whose deliveries were belted out of the playing area for four more massive sixes off the his first five balls.Lewis had already raced past his fifty off 18 deliveries and counted five sixes and five fours. He blasted two more sixes and departed for a hurricane 90 with ten sixes and six fours off 35 deliveries.The pulsating batting waned following Lewis’ exit. But it quickly picked up momentum when burly Roshon Primus joined skipper Denesh Ramdin and together they put on another fine exhibition of power-hitting.Primus took the leading role and slammed a quick-fire 43 that contained three sixes and four fours off 18 balls while Ramdin blazed four fours and a six for his 23 runs. Simmons hit three fours in his 26 made off 27 balls.Cane Farm amassed 217 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs while DCC folded for 150 all out in 17.1 overs.While wickets tumbled at regular intervals around him, the pugnacious leftie blazed to 64 with the aid of two sixes and ten elegant fours and took his overall tournament aggregate to 327 for an amazing average of 327.Carmichael and Paul raised hopes of helping Singh to carry DCC as close as possible to Cane Farm’s challenging total but they perished through reckless strokeplay. Carmichael made 34 while Paul was smartly stumped by Ramdin off Imran Khan for 25.Paul delighted the crowd with three huge sixes off Khan who deceived him with the doosra that had him groping down the track as Ramdin had the bails off in a flash to end DCC’s chances of a rear-guard fightback.Gajanand, who batted throughout the series with a troubled right shoulder and injured left elbow on his strong hand, sought to up the scoring rate but perished when he was brilliantly caught by Rayad Emrit at extra cover off Primus who demolished the lower batting order to give Cane Farm an impressive victory over the Guyanese team.Primus finished with four for 39 from four overs and collected the Man-of-the-Match award while Ravi Rampaul (2 for 19 from 3.1 overs) and Khan (2 for 34 from 4 overs) helped in the demolition of DCC, who collected the runner-up prize of TT$20 000.Cane Farm Sports Club captain Denesh Ramdin received the champions’ prize of TT$40 000 and the Challenge Trophy.
In 2018, Jamaica welcomed over 4 million visitors, generated over USD $3 billion in revenue and contributed to 11% of the island’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2019, earnings were estimated at USD 3.7 billion as a result of new accommodations, like the AC Hotel and Ocean Coral Spring Hotel, being open. Already faced with billions of dollars in losses as a result of COVID-19, Jamaica’s tourism ministry has begun planning the reopening of its industry in order to help save the county’s economy. Like many ministers of the Jamaican government, Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has accepted that the coronavirus (COVID-19) may very well be around for months to come, and thus, the focus has shifted to the reopening of the economy, safely. Prior to COVID-19, the ministry had projected that Jamaica would earn over USD $4.4 billion this year. In recent years, Jamaica’s tourism industry has seen significant annual growth and was on track to become “the fastest-growing sector in Jamaica”, according to Bartlett. Minister Bartlett, however, said that he believes the tourism industry could begin to recover as early as September. But even if tourist travel does return to normal then, the damage has already been done. The cancellation of major events like Reggae Sumfest, which recorded over JMD $1 billion in earnings last year, has already put a damper on travel to the island for the remainder of the year. Local economists have predicted that tourism revenue could fall short of up to USD $3 billion because of COVID-19. Minister Bartlett said the protocol for the reopening of the industry is almost completed and will be rolled out shortly. “We have always thought that travel and tourism could be affected but never halted, and now we have come face to face with that reality,” Bartlett said. “It entails a whole range of responses that the workers of the industry will have to make and also quite a bit of infrastructure adjustment that the hotels will have to make, as well as the transportation subsector,” Mr. Bartlett said. The shutdown of many of the island’s hotels and tourist attractions have crippled the industry. In April, the minister revealed that of the 160,000 people that work in Jamaica’s tourism industry, 120,000 of those workers had already been laid off. The remaining 40,000 people were only working for a few days a week, for a fraction of their normal pay. Other focus areas, he said, include “certification requirements for guests coming in at the airports… the use of beaches, swimming pools and things like that”. “It will also involve some changes at the airports and the seaports. So, it’s a pretty comprehensive set of protocols covering all points of entry, as well as the experience of the visitor within the destination,” he added. And while the minister remains hopeful for a speedy recovery, the fact remains that Jamaica will not see a tourism recovery until the United States and the United Kingdom return to normalcy. Bartlett said that COVID-19 was the improbable event that no one could have predicted. Jamaica’s minister of tourism, Ed Bartlett Although the Minister has already began establishing the reopening protocol, the tourism industry will not see a reopening for weeks. Many Jamaican hotels are still being used as quarantine facilities for locals and also house Jamaican nationals that are expected to return to the island under the controlled re-entry program. He revealed that when he went to the airport in March, prior to the island closing its borders, and saw that there were zero arrivals, “it was a shock of the recognition that COVID-19 had in fact arrived and affected travel tourism in a very profound way”.