(Taken from the Trinidad Express)
Port of Spain, Trinidad – The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is moving ahead with its plan to implement a new structure for regional first-class cricket which will see the six regional sides being able to select players from across the region and further overseas.
WICB president Dave Cameron, speaking on the Line and Length programme on the Sportsmax TV Channel, said the changes are part of the Board’s attempt to transform the regional first class competition to a “franchise” structure much like the Limacol Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament.
“We are moving towards a structure where we are going to have players from all over the region playing for different teams,” said Cameron.
“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,” he added.
The move Cameron said, was part of the process of professionalising the regional first class tournament and was also highlighted in the Pybus report.
In the Pybus report, WICB director of cricket Richard Pybus outlined a structure which would see a player draft being held for regional first class cricket.
“The draft allows West Indies cricket to level the playing field in resourcing franchise-type teams, affording all the TB’s (territorial boards) the opportunity to broaden and deepen their squads,” the report stated.
The territorial boards will be allowed to retain and contract ten players with the rest of the players going into the draft from which teams will select five players to make up their 15-member 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. It is an interesting point however that these teams are going to fall directly under the auspices of the territorial boards,” said the WICB president.
He also noted that the players will be “at work” for 12 months of the year and that was one of the main reasons the Combined Campuses and Colleges team was cut from the competition.
“Our season starts November 1st and runs to March and we did not see how a university team could fit in to such a structure,” Cameron added.