Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. W.I. 03 November 2017. The University of the West Indies (The UWI) in partnership with Sagicor Financial Corporation and Flow Sports is using the game that brings the Caribbean together to help rebuild the region together. The partnership will host a Celebrity T20 Cricket Hurricane Relief Benefit match on Saturday 11 November, 2017 in aid of the many Caribbean islands which suffered significant damage during the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria earlier this year. The match which will be held at the 3Ws Oval at The UWI Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, beginning at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Caribbean time) will see a Prime Ministers’ XI play against a Sagicor-UWI Icons XI. Admission is free, however members of the public are kindly asked to give generously by making cash donations at the match. Proceeds will go towards the rebuilding of hospitals and schools in the affected Caribbean countries.
During the first week of September, Hurricane Irma hit Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, the Virgin Islands, St. Maarten/St Martin, and continued its destructive path to the Turks and Caicos Islands and the northern border of Haiti, as well as the south eastern islands of the Bahamas. Then, the category 5 Hurricane Maria descended on Dominica on September 18, 2017. Guadeloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the north eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, and the south eastern Bahamas were all impacted.
Sagicor Financial Corporation is enlisted as platinum sponsor for the relief benefit match and Flow Sports as a major sponsor offering live broadcast of the game on its networks. This partnership with businesses in the regional private sector is just one initiative of a larger two-phased approach to response efforts by The UWI. Phase 1 or the “rapid response” phase is largely concentrated on the deployment of relief aid and experts to assist in the areas of greatest need as identified by the impacted states (including for example, infrastructure, housing, agriculture, tourism, and psychosocial counselling). This is being done working closely with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), as well as Heads of Governments. Phase 2, or the “recovery and rehabilitation phase”, focuses on the mobilisation of funding and expertise to assist in the restoration of these affected islands—with special priority, from The UWI perspective, on the sectoral areas of education and healthcare.
Among the celebrity athletes that have come on board for the cause so far include: Fidel Edwards, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Smith, Floyd Reifer, Vasbert Drakes, Tino Best, Ian Bradshaw, Dale Richards, Daren Ganga, Rayad Emrit, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Curtly Ambrose, Franklyn Rose and Yohan Blake. Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles will also play on the Sagicor-UWI Icons team. Further details on the match and the players’ line-up will be announced at a media launch carded for Friday 3 November, 2017 at the Usain Bolt Sports Complex, The UWI Cave Hill Campus Barbados from 9:30 a.m. (Eastern Caribbean time). The media launch will be available via livestream at www.uwitv.org