January 3 – Ever since the West Indies team has performed under par at least in the last decade a number of suggestions have come forward regarding ways and means to improve its current state. In the last year though so many more of those recommendations have taken place and now the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its partners must now determine and chart the way forward.
From reports, studies, assessments and opinions from experts – cricket in the Caribbean must take centre stage to, among a number of things, help and develop economic activity and provide wealth to its players, technical teams and officials around the region. The WICB does have a lot of recommendations to fudge through, but it is safe to say WI cricket will be improving over the next three years.
A brief history of Caribbean is found here http://www.espncricinfo.com/westindies/content/story/259978.html- but what we know is the WICB has been associated with the International Cricket Council (ICC) since 1926 and first played Test Cricket in 1928 – so a lot of time in the next two years to celebrate “90”. There will be sometime for the region to unite for a milestone cause and any organisation with 90 years for anything under its belt must celebrate and with the anticipated turnaround of the game in the region, now is as good a time to plan.
Expanded domestic tournaments
Over the last three years, the WICB has hosted with its partners a significant amount of domestic cricket. The four day competition, the Professional Cricket League in its second year, has ten games on its schedules for the participating teams. The NAGICO Super50 has also expanded and will in 2016 see eight teams competing between January 7 to 23. The third year NAGICO Insurances-sponsored tournament will be co-hosted by Trinidad & Tobago and St. Kitts Nevis http://windiescricket.com/news/tt-st-kitts-host-nagico-super50 – Later in July the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in its fourth year will also have a new format http://cplt20.com/news/cpl-ensures-greater-excitement-new-draft-format-2016
What that says is from November back to July the region is able to host its best local talent. In between those months there are international tournaments in all three formats, T20, ODIs and Test for a full year’s schedule. An enterprising young cricketer anywhere from 17 to 40 has a distinct opportunity to earn and to be exposed to all levels of the game across the region and the world.
The case for an improved product can be made if energies are focused on a few things
- the best players must participate in the domestic tournaments
- the top marketing companies in the region must support the game through its products and/or services
- the preparation of these players must be of importance and must be handled by each region; the blue print is available
- At least twice a year a camp is to be assembled to ensure players attain appropriate fitness levels and have an opportunity to bond at that level – time permitting. I am aware of the camps prior to departure for tournaments
The domestic tournaments ought to be used along with the approved development programmes in each territory and must be priority if we want positive change. The number of games (with expand formats) already matches the quantity; the best players available will create the quality. This substantiates the case for quantity and quality of regional (domestic) cricket and it will clear the path towards a positive case for the improved path of West Indies Cricket.