Mervyn Dillon: one of the 15 West Indians sponsored by Smasher © Getty Images
Citing great potential in West Indies cricket, Smasher Sports, a UK-based company, has decided to sponsor fifteen West Indian players, and they are hoping to rope in several more during the season. The sponsorship entails retainer and appearance fees for international matches, with a job assurance at the end of their careers.
The players, who are from Test and domestic cricket, include Daren Ganga, Mervyn Dillon, Ricardo Powell, Dave Mohammed, Sherwin Ganga, Carlton Baugh, Pedro Collins, Fidel Edwards, Wavell Hinds, Sylvester Joseph, Omari Banks, Tino Best, Reon King, Rayad Emrit and Martin Nurse.
Imitiaz Ahmed, chief executive officer of Smasher Sports UK, told The Trinidad Guardian, "At this point, West Indies cricketers need sponsors and this is why we are coming aboard. We are delighted to be associated with the West Indies players because they epitomise the spirit that we have. We are very committed to cricket in the Caribbean and we are here to help bring back the West Indies team to the glory days and how better can we do this than by sponsoring the players."
Daren Ganga, the captain of Trinidad & Tobago, was glad to be associated with the Smasher line. "They have shown great commitment and investment to the region's cricket and for this we must say a heartfelt thanks."
Other international players being sponsored by Smasher include Azhar Mahmood, Salman Butt and Taufeeq Umar from Pakistan and Craig McMillan, Ian Butler and Chris Martin from New Zealand.