Cricket Guy Inc. to oversee new franchise system

…GCB gives details at press briefing

By: Calvin Robers

WITH the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) getting ready to roll out a full Professional First Class Franchise System, in which a cadre of 90 players will be engaged in a professional cricket structure on a day-to-day basis all year round, the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) yesterday at the Everest Cricket Club pavilion brought its stakeholders up to date with the system.

Present at yesterday’s update were GCB president (ag) Faizal Bacchus, secretary Anand Sanasie, Marketing Manager Raj Singh and members of the four teams who are currently competing in the GCB senior Inter-county tournament.

Using a Microsoft PowerPoint programme to better educate his audience on the soon-to-be-implemented system, both Sanasie and Singh who were assisted by the GCB’s Territorial Development Officer Colin Stuart, said the GCB has set up a body called Cricket Guy Inc. (CGI) which will oversee the smooth operations of the franchise system on behalf of the WICB.

“Just last week, the WICB and the players body, West Indies Players Association (WIPA), signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and this means that all players who sign onto the franchise, will be having certain obligations they have to meet.

They will be paid for commitment to their careers and development which will be more structured and carefully monitored, while they will be held accountable to their employers, franchises and most importantly, themselves.”

“Cricket Guy Inc. is the name of the company which will be overlooking our franchise which has been set up to administer the WICB four- and one-day tournaments each year, commencing from November and running until March.

It is the duty of CGI to ensure the 15 players selected to represent this franchise are developed and prepared, while CGI will be implementing programmes and activities, following which a report on each player’s development will be forwarded to the WICB from CGI, who will develop a database for such purposes,” added the trio.

According to the presenters, players need to understand their roles in the new system and must adhere to their contractual obligations, amongst which they are asked to maintain maximum fitness and training standards all year round.

“When you are fulfilling your contractual obligations as requested, it is left up to us to ensure certain things are put in place, such as organising youth cricket at all levels from Under-15 to U-19, female cricket as well as T20 competitions and other developmental programmes you will asked to be a part of.”

They stated that the WICB and Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have signed an eight-year agreement, which will see the latter pay to the former, $45 000 per month during the term life of their contract, while CGI will be tasked with locating other sponsors and shareholders for its franchise.

At the moment, CGI is waiting to sign the tri-partite agreement between themselves, WICB and WIPA, which should be done during the course of this week, even as the GCB has already identified 10 of its 15 players.

“Yes, we have identified 10 of our 15 players, with another 15 being thrown into the pool from which the remaining five players will be selected for our franchise and those who are involved in the draft, must sign a letter of commitment, which has as one of its clause, the player’s willingness to relocate to another country.

When all of this is done, then you the players will be issued with retainer contracts which you will sign and be held accountable to, come what may, since the new franchise system will see you being paid for commitment and development to your careers, which will now be more structured and carefully monitored,” said Singh.

Prior to the GCB’s update, several prominent individuals within the Caribbean including business executive and Director of the WICB Don Wehby, said the professionalisation of First Class cricket in the West Indies will revolutionise the game in the region.

The WICB has committed to partner with the six territorial boards to fund six First Class Franchises in the region which will compete in the annual Regional First Class and Super50 tournaments.

Each franchise will retain 15 players who will work as a unit on a day-to-day basis in each territory under a Head Coach and support staff, with the six franchises being based in Barbados, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Windward Islands and Guyana.