CWI official joins calls for return of Caribbean T20 tournament
Cricket West Indies (CWI) Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, speaking in his personal capacity, also firmly believes there needs to be a T20 tournament solely for West Indian players.
While noting the immense value of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Adams believes a fully domestic T20 tournament offers greater exposure for young talents in the region.
January 2013 in St. Lucia, when Trinidad and Tobago defeated Guyana in the final, was the last occasion the regional governing, then West Indies Cricket Board, organised and hosted a Caribbean T20 tournament.
Later that same year, the CPL started and has since been the lone T20 tournament in the region.
Unlike the CPL, which is a franchise-based system and teams are allowed to field a maximum of five overseas players, the Caribbean T20 was an all-local event.
While CPL in recent years has taken the initiative to mandate the playing of Under-23 players in a minimum of five matches, the pool of young talents being exposed is still small.
“In terms of developing any sort of talent, you start with your ground zero numbers and if I could wave a magic wand, I would love to have a regional tournament that is stocked with only regional players so that we could see more players playing T20 cricket, more coaches, regionally coaching T20 cricket with a view to those coaches impacting the development of this format further down the pipeline,” the Director of Cricket stated in a recent media briefing.
White-ball captain, Kieron Pollard, speaking after West Indies’ failed World T20 campaign earlier this month, also called for a local T20 tournament to broaden the pool of players.
The likes of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Samuel Badree, Marlon Samuels and Daren Sammy have made their impact on the format globally, appearing in numerous leagues and playing a role in West Indies winning two World T20 titles.
For that trend to continue, captain Pollard believes there has to be another domestic tournament alongside the CPL, which would provide an avenue for more homegrown talents to be harnessed.
“I think it’s something we have to look at. It’s something that has plagued us over a period of time. For the last 10 years or so we have had sort of the same guys playing T20 and sort of dominating as we go along.”
“One of the things we need to do is that we need to have another tournament other than CPL where we can unearth new talents. When we had the Caribbean T20 that was an opportunity for people to bring new talents from different parts of the Caribbean and we sort of have a nucleus for this last generation.”
Meanwhile, Adams stated that CPL has its purpose, but there could be room for further exposure.
“I don’t want to be misquoted or misunderstood on the value that CPL played in the past and will probably play going forward, but we need, I think, more exposure for more players, more T20 players in the Caribbean and if that is what Kieron is saying, I am in agreeing with that.”
He added, “We need to expose more players to this format earlier and have it properly integrated as part of our programme going right down to the junior level.”
Pre-COVID, CWI would host the Regional Four-Day throughout the year, and between December and February the Super50.
Apart from getting the necessary finances, finding an appropriate window in an already packed schedule would be key to making those plans a reality.
Currently, CWI is forming a group of players who will be the nucleus of the squad for next year’s World T20 in Australia.