West Indies news July 29, 2014

WICB to shake up first-class structure

ESPNcricinfo staff

In a major structural change in West Indies' first-class cricket structure, the six regional teams will be able to select players from all over the region, and possibly even from overseas. Whycliffe Cameron, the WICB president, said in a television interview that the changes - based on the recommendations of the Pybus Report - would bring a franchise structure to the regional first-class tournament, similar to that of the Caribbean Premier League. Last week, the WICB had already cut the first-class competition down to six teams by excluding Combined Campuses and Colleges.

"We are moving towards a structure where we are going to have players from all over the region playing for different teams," Cameron said. "Effective August and September we are going to have players from all over the region and potentially from outside the region who will be playing for these franchises and we are still going to call them Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad."

Among the recommendations made by Richard Pybus, the WICB director, was also a draft system for first-class cricket. Under this system, each of the territorial boards will be allowed to retain and contract 10 players, with the rest of the region's player pool going into a player draft for the teams to complete their 15-player squads.

"We have announced that coming this year, with the new professional structure, teams will be able to select the best players from around the region," Cameron said. "It is an interesting point however that these teams are going to fall directly under the auspices of the territorial boards."

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  • kent on August 1, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Agree with these proposals entirely.There are other areas I would love to see included here.As "lee_man" said, the pitches should be a major focus.Lets get the leading groundsmen and administrators of the region together and develop a plan that would get us faster bouncier pitches in the region.(this is not rocket science).Similarly allow these franchises, like in the CPL to recruit top coaches from the region and outside of the region for their teams.These coaches would be able to develop the cricketing talent as well as mentor and guide the younger players in the region.Also look at attracting the crowds by a strong and vigorous marketing push before the cricket starts to advertise the game the region and have prizes for crowd involvement, each time someone take a catch or recovers a ball hit for six.We may also have to consider playing some matches at night as well to attract crowds.We need to compete with basketball and football. Overall the WICB is moving in the right direction.

  • Dummy4 on August 1, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Agree with you completely @donsimon. New measures are needed and I like the initiative shown. Experienced players from abroad can only aid the professionalism of the competition. Well done WICB. More of the same please.

  • Michael on July 31, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    Exactly Viv Gilchrist,that is how I read it too,but we will have to wait and see.Don't think though that TnT,Jamaica ,Guyana and Bdos will play more than one " outsider "in their final elevens.

  • Michael on July 30, 2014, 22:58 GMT

    @Kirk Douglas..I agree with you 100%.If one invites players from outside the region.more than likely they will not be young inexperienced players,therefore what will happened to our young and upcoming players ??..they will obviously fall by the wayside. West Indies cricket is INDEED unique ! people talk about West Indians of the past playing in England and Australia.as REPRESENTATIVES of CLUB teams...yes ,the same way players from the West Indies travel to Jamaica,Barbados,Trinidad etc to represent some of the the CLUB teams ! but Australia and England are single Countries,and taking NON residents to represent the COUNTRIES of the West Indies is akin to allowing non residents to represent Australia and England. I look forward to the day that Chris Gale and Sunil Narine represent Zimbabwe and Bangladesh respectively.

  • Basil on July 30, 2014, 21:49 GMT

    It states that each board can retain 10 players. So my understanding is that each region gets to pick there best 10 first up. So for example, there should be a minimum of 10 Bajans in the 15 Man Barbados squad. This could work as Barbados have pacemen surplus to there needs, while Guyana is probably deficient in this area. You could be seeing Best and Edwards bowling for Guyana or T&T next season.

  • Lee on July 30, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    I think this is an excellent idea. It should help to raise the standard of the cricket. Of course the standard of the pitches also need to improve. Additionally, the franchise format should help to eliminate the myopic insularity that hounds WI cricket. And to those who are talking about the loss of spectators, just understand that those who lobe quality cricket and not just their country team will welcome the improvement.

  • o on July 30, 2014, 17:33 GMT

    @ rayinto No one watches the games anyway, hell hardly anyone even watches West Indies Tests. The whole purpose of this is to create a better standard of cricket to improve the dismal quality that currently exists if anything with better competition this may bring more people to watch however that is not really the purpose the purpose is to create a better quality of cricket and raise the competitiveness.

  • Douglas on July 30, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    Terrible idea. This is a great way of getting the locals further disinterested in the game. Who wants to go support strangers for 4 whole days? The CPL works for that format of the game. Don't see the same success in the 4 day format.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    Including international players adds depth and will encourage performance based selection. This idea exposes our players to an international arena long before they perform in such, training is enhanced and experience benefits the young and budding picks. At least one U-19 should be included in each franchise. Pooled players should play three or more games to guarantee selection in any format at international level. Audience participation should be encouraged, prizes, season ticket competition etc. It's not about the players alone.

  • Dummy4 on July 30, 2014, 12:57 GMT

    The jury is assembling but can't render a verdict yet because the matches haven't been played. On the surface, this new concept seems like a good idea. So let's adopt a wait-and-see approach before we pass judgment. Personally, I don't see it working, but that's my opinion. As some of you opined, emphasis should be placed on preparing pitches which invite competitive matches. Pitches that will give batsmen and bowlers a roughly equal chance to succeed providing they're willing to give it their all and possess the requisite skill set.We have the talent in the region. Every year in the regional competitions for the juniors, some player catches the eye. And even if he's placed at the Sagicor HPC in Bim for further training and development, many of the graduates tend to fall through the proverbial cracks. In terms of our FC batsmen, many of them need a lesson in patience, discipline, shot selection and the like.

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