In the 1970’s, the game of Cricket occupied a sacred place in the Jamaican public psyche, producing players which the populace regarded as heroes. Faced with the declining popularity of the sport in recent years, the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) has outlined an ambitious strategy to recapture the public imagination, while increasing spectator support for local cricket. “It’s really about unearthing inspiring stories that will get people interested, stories from the cricketing fraternity. Sharing what the next generation looks like, the up-and-coming strong bowlers and batsmen, while pushing gender equality within the sport, so that more people can come along for the journey”, Garth Williams, Communications and Marketing Manager of the JCA told The Gleaner. This underpins a three-pronged approach to increase the public’s engagement with local cricket, which includes tying cricket to other social events, community-based promotions, and a digital marketing campaign. MORE PUBLIC INTEREST Williams believes the opening of traditional cricketing facilities to commercial interests could generate more public interest in the sport, which can translate to greater popularity and spectator turnout for local games. “We are considering commercialising Sabina Park in general, the inn, the lounge, the hosting of various entertainment events and sporting activities. It would be nice to come to Sabina Park and enjoy a great dining experience. We want to attract more people to the space. Once we increase the popularity of the venue, we believe it will catapult the popularity of the sport”, he said. The JCA anticipates the Sabina Inn, a three-star accommodations facility, as well as the lounge will be fully operational by December 2019. Williams added that the board was considering the introduction of other cricketing venues to lighter forms of commercial activity, with a stronger focus on community engagement, citing the Social Development Commission’s island-wide competition as a possible model they may emulate. “The SDC’s island-wide competition has been pulling out a lot of people, so we have to learn from those types of examples. We will be looking at ways for our sponsors to engage with the surrounding communities to increase turnout”, he mentioned. Williams noted that while globally, supporters’ interest was generally skewed toward the T20 format of the game, the JCA has no intentions of lessening its focus on the 50-over or two-day versions. “We will not highlight one at the other’s expense because of the limited attention span of our audience. We are looking to provide entertainment straight across the board. Some will be interested in tests, others will not”, he added. Maurice Silvera
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John Phillips“We know that viruses can survive on surfaces for a long time – more than four days,” said Dr. Birgit Winther, an ear, nose and throat specialist at the university who led the study. Its aim was to test the survival of rhinoviruses, which cause about half of all colds, especially in children. Researchers had 15 people with lab-confirmed rhinovirus colds spend a night in individual rooms at a nearby hotel and, after they checked out, tested 10 items they said they had touched. About one-third of the objects were contaminated with rhinovirus. “We were surprised to find so many,” Winther said. Virus was found on seven out of 14 door handles and six of 14 pens. Six out of 15 light switches, TV remotes and faucets tested positive, as did five of 15 phones. Shower curtains, coffee makers and alarm clocks also harbored viruses. Experts did not test items such as bedspreads because cloth dries out germs. Several months later, five of the 15 participants were asked to return to the hotel and visit rooms where certain items had been deliberately contaminated with their own mucus, which had been frozen previously when they had their colds. Because they had developed immunity to these germs, doctors could study how easily they picked them up without putting them at risk of getting sick. Each volunteer visited two rooms, and their hands were tested afterward for viruses. Results were positive on 60percent of contacts in rooms where mucus had dried for at least an hour, and on 33percent of those in rooms where mucus had dried overnight. The study was sponsored by Reckitt-Benckiser Inc., makers of Lysol, but did not test any products. Doctors with no ties to the company designed the study to lay the groundwork for future research on germs and ways to get rid of them. Some in the hotel industry say they have strict policies on how to disinfect rooms. “We do wipe everything down, from the remote control to the telephone,” said Michelle Pike, corporate director of housekeeping for Hilton brand hotels. Hilton, like many hotels, has taken steps to make common items easier to clean, like encasing phone books in plastic and replacing bedspreads with duvet covers than can be washed between each guest, she said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SAN FRANCISCO – Hotel guests leave behind more than just socks and old paperbacks: A new study found viruses on TV remotes, light switches and even hotel pens after cold sufferers checked out. The germ testing was done before the rooms were cleaned, so it likely overstates the risks that most travelers would face. Nevertheless, it shows the potential hazards if a hotel’s turnaround amounts to little more than changing the sheets and wiping out the tub. “You sure hope the cleaning people were good,” said Dr. Owen Hendley, the University of Virginia pediatrician who presented results of the study Friday at a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Besides hotel hazards, the findings point out things that people might not think to clean when someone has a cold.