The West Indies Cricket Board has introduced a Twenty20 tournament to the region's domestic calendar. The tournament, which will host seven domestic teams and one overseas team, is set to become a regular fixture and will be hosted by Barbados and Trinidad this year. Allen Stanford, the Texan billionaire, had sponsored the first domestic Twenty20 tournament to be held in the region in 2008. But his association with West Indies cricket ended when he was charged with fraud in February 2009 and arrested in June in the United States the same year.
Barbados, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Windward Islands will contest the tournament, together with an international team that's yet to be announced. The leading regional team will be the sole representative from the West Indies in the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa in September this year. Last year Trinidad and Tobago, the winners of the Stanford 20/20 qualified for the inaugural Champions League, hosted by India, and finished runners-up.
"This is a very exciting time for cricket in the West Indies," Ernest Hilaire, CEO of the WICB said. "We just staged the hugely successful ICC World T20 Tournament and now we have the inaugural Caribbean T20 tournament. We expect to see superb action on the field, from the region's best players, and great excitement off the field, from the lovely Caribbean people in the stands. Cricket fans all across the world have fallen in love with Twenty20 cricket and we know they will be thrilled with what they see during the Caribbean T20," he said.
The eight teams in the field will be split into two groups of four, with each team playing three games in the league stage, and the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will advance to final, while the losing semi-finalists play a third-place play-off. Barbados will host the first eight games from July 22 to 25, while the next eight will be held in Trinidad from July 28 to 31. August 1 is the reserve day for the final.