FLASHBACK – Andre Fletcher of Saint Lucia Kings celebrates winning the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League’s first semi-final against Trinbago Knight Riders at Warner Park Sporting Complex in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis. Kings won by 21 runs. (Photo by Randy Brooks - CPL T20/Getty Images)

The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has partnered with the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to offer a new certificate programme, in Sports Marketing.

The announcement was made by Deputy Dean in the University’s Faculty of Sport, Amanda Reifer, on January 25th, during a ceremony hosted by The UWI Cave Hill Campus, themed, ‘Commitment to Cricket’.

Speaking on behalf of Dean, Dr Akshai Mansingh, Deputy Dean Reifer noted that the ‘gentleman’s game’ has advanced through academies and close collaboration with universities, and this latest association will help to further develop the sport regionally.

“We see The UWI as the partner to help pull cricket from the doldrums. The involvement of our academies and members of staff is already testimony to this. Our involvement with the other regional success, the CPL, is another exciting partnership that benefits our students and faculty. Getting the best of their management team with ten years of regional experience while opening our human and facility resources is a partnership destined for success,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer of Hero CPL, Pete Russell, said applications will be opened in the coming weeks, and the course will be available from June. He added that the programme will offer students the opportunity to learn about the building and delivery of a world-class sporting product.

“There will be input from senior CPL staff who will give insights into marketing, brand-building public relations, content creation, understanding of the digital landscape, and of course business management. At the end of the course, up to 12 students will be given the chance to intern with the CPL and get a further understanding of how the league operates,” Russell said.

Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles highlighted The UWI’s quest to be a global centre of excellence for teaching and learning, and noted that this certificate programme will add value to West Indies Cricket.

“As West Indies cricket seeks to rebuild its global competitiveness, we hope that in turn, West Indies Cricket will now find in our University, the example of global leadership,” Vice-Chancellor Beckles said.

He added, “This certificate programme will bring tremendous value to West Indies Cricket for generations to come because the graduates of this programme will move into professional positions where they, in turn, will make space for those who will come thereafter.”

Following the event, Cave Hill Campus Principal, Professor Clive Landis, escorted a small party that included Russell and CEO of the Rajasthan Royals, Mike Fordham, on a tour of the cricket facilities on campus, including the recently refurbished 3Ws Oval, and the Garfield Sobers Indoor Cricket School, which currently is under renovation.

He said the Campus’ decision to showcase its cricketing treasures is part of an overall plan to attract more international students to pursue programmes in the field of cricket.

Principal Landis also noted that the current strategic plan of The UWI aims to leverage the academic achievements of the University—that have seen it climb to the top 1.5% of the world’s best universities, as ranked by Times Higher Education—to export its educational products to the wider world.

“In the cricketing realm, this can be achieved by attracting international students into our world-class cricket programme at the Academy of Sport, or through the enrolment of international students online. In this respect we are converting our Master’s in Cricket Studies into an online course for students interested in earning a Master’s Degree online from an accredited university, with a unique cricketing pedigree”, Principal Landis said.

During the ceremony, Principal Landis received on behalf of the Campus, the gift of a cricket bat from legendary Barbados, and West Indies Batsman, International Cricket Council Hall-of-Famer and UWI Honorary Degree holder, the Most Honourable Desmond Haynes. The bat was used by Haynes when he played his 100th Test Cricket match. — (The UWI)