West Indies news January 7, 2011

Windies board hits back at over-spending claims

ESPNcricinfo staff

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has refuted claims that Hampshire and Somerset, who have accepted an invitation to take part in the Caribbean T20 tournament in January, could earn as much as $1 million from their participation, and that money has been spent irresponsibly on the competition.

"Contrary to public attempts at misinformation the two English teams will not pocket $1million from the Caribbean Twenty20," the board said in a statement. "WICB will spend less than $300,000 for all airfares and appearance fees for the two English teams to participate in the Caribbean Twenty20. All invited teams will share the same hotels and hotel arrangements as the regional teams."

Their press release came after the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) had made public its concerns over the tournament. "The spend from this year's event would now be added to the $3 million which the WICB spent on last year's tournament," read a statement released by WIPA on Wednesday. "In all, the WICB would have spent over $6 million in the past seven months on the two tournaments and they are yet to find a sponsor for this and other regional and international tournaments despite WIPA's willingness to assist."

WIPA also questioned WICB claims that the money represents an investment aimed at attracting foreign investors and broadcasters, building a tournament and improving the brand of West Indies Cricket.

The Board responded by stating that "as the WICB's identified marquee tournament, Caribbean T20 (complete with full television coverage done for the benefit of players, fans and West Indies cricket as a brand) requires a larger investment than other regional tournaments," adding: "An increase from 8 to 10 teams and 16 to 24 matches from the CT20 2010 necessarily increase match operating and logistics costs, accommodation and travel expenses and television production costs.

"Caribbean T20 is not yet a profit making venture and is still in the investment phase. WICB has put the necessary plans in place to ensure that the tournament shows a long term return on investment."