President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron is calling on the regional governments to assist the Board in developing academies to ensure the future is good for West Indian cricket.
While members of CARICOM have stated that they would like to see the current WICB dissolved, the president is saying that they have a plan for the development of West Indies cricket which is working but they need financial support from the regional governments to take things forward.
Cameron said :”The WICB has put in place a franchise system that will capture the best players. The next step is to build our academies within those franchises, but we need government support to make this a reality.”
The WICB’s started the franchise system two years ago and according to Cameron it is already paying off. “Here we have a situation that instead of 15 players retained, we have another 90 at the territorial level who are coming through the franchise system. We are happy to see this development taking place at the franchise level but we need to take it further.”
The WICB has funded the franchise system for the past two years and will be doing it for another year. The money came from the new pay structure given to the senior players, as well as other cut backs. After the initial three years, the franchises will be on their own and they would have to find ways of attracting investors.
Cameron said the franchise system has worked to improving the players and he thinks that 2017, the West Indies will have a Test team of which all can be proud. “I have said that 2017 is the year when we will have a Test Team to be proud of. I would like to see our best players play in our PCL, play CPL and those who can get a county contract in the United Kingdom so be it, and we have an ‘A’ team tour later this year.
“Our PCL season begins in November and we would be ready to determine those best fit to take us forward. We need to make sure that the players will last and that they are best suited when they are introduced. Think longer term.”
The current PCL season enters its eight round this weekend with matches across the Caribbean.
(First Published In The Trinidad Guardian)