Carib Beer Series underway December 29, 2006

T&T team to beat in premier event

Roger Seepersad

Deryck Murray, left, receives the Carib International Challenge Trophy from Carib CEO Andrew Sabga at the launch of the 2007 Carib Beer Series © T&T Express
Defending Carib Beer Series champions Trinidad and Tobago will be the team to beat when the 2007 regional cricket series bowls off on January 4.

Carib chief executive officer Andrew Sabga, speaking at the launch of the tournament at Crowne Plaza Hotel on Wrightson Road, Port of Spain, congratulated Trinidad and Tobago on achieving the double in 2006, but warned the champions that the other countries will come out stronger in 2007 as they face-off for the championship.

Sabga was excited to be part of what he calls "the premier event of the Caribbean". He said: "The Carib Beer Series, which dates back to the 1960s, has produced some of the greatest cricketers the world has ever seen, from legendary Sir Garry Sobers to the Prince of Port of Spain, Brian Lara."

The prestigious event, according to Sabga, "Allows young cricketers to showcase their talents regionally, while demonstrating to the world that the West Indies still has an abundance of talent that simply needs nurturing."

Through their five years of sponsorship of the regional tournament, Carib have invested more than US$3 million and Sabga stated the rewards have been most visible in the past year. "Coming through the ranks of the Carib Beer Series, Dinesh Ramdhin, Carlton Bough, Renako Morton, Lendl Simmons and Jerome Taylor have been selected to the West Indies team and it rests on them now to take West Indies cricket back to the glory days of the 1970s and 1980s." The Carib Beer Series represents the climax of the cricketing calendar and all efforts throughout the year in each of the participating territories are geared towards preparing the best team for the regional tournament.

According to Colin Murray, Sponsorship and Events manager of Carib Brewery, "2007 is a critical year for the region as a whole as it will be hosting the Cricket World Cup for the first time. The Carib Beer Series now takes on an additional role-the preparation of the regional team for the World Cup. "The Carib Beer Series is a stepping-stone in the process of rebuilding West Indies cricket," Murray declared.

Six teams will be participating in the tournament: defending champions Trinidad and Tobago, runners-up Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, the Leeward Islands and the Windward Islands. The competition will be played on a round-robin basis, with each team playing each other once in a four-day match. The two teams with the most points will advance to the final of the Carib Beer Series, a five-day match, which will be played at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre.