Ernest Hilaire, the outgoing chief executive of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has revealed that a "commercial Twenty20" league in the Caribbean is in the works. Hilaire's term comes to an end on September 30, but he said he would like to leave having finalised the deal, which was being supported by an unnamed investor.
"We're in the advanced stages of discussions to have a commercial Twenty20 league in the region and I have been leading the negotiations on that. We're very close to completing the negotiations. I would like to complete that whole process before I move on," Hilaire said in an interview with the Antigua-based Observer Radio. "We are in discussions with an investor. Once we have an understanding, we can move forward with it."
Hilaire did not elaborate on the exact structure of the Twenty20 league and if it would be a mirror image of other popular domestic leagues like the IPL. He did make it clear though that the existing Caribbean Twenty20 will be played next year. "We will be having the Caribbean Twenty20 in January as scheduled. The board will meet next week and make some decisions on its structure and how it will be organised."
On September 14, the WICB directors are scheduled to meet to discuss the governance structure of the board. Hilaire said the board would also discuss the planned T20 league and finalise its structure. He would be bringing on board both the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) and the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to discuss issues pertaining to players, he said, to make sure there were no hurdles. "We will need to speak to WIPA and FICA, and other stakeholders, to make sure everybody is on board."