“CPL is not enough” to spot and groom talent- WI Head Coach

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Phil Simmons, Head Coach of the West Indies Men’s team, is in the early stages of building a squad in a bid to regain their World T20 title later this year in Australia.

Questioned on the current talent pool and how it can be expanded and nurtured, the coach indicated that exposure in the Caribbean Premier League is not enough to get the job done.

Post the failed campaign for West Indies at last year’s World T20 held in the United Arab Emirates, captain Kieron Pollard was first to say, there needs to be a complimentary tournament to the CPL.

West Indies Head Coach, Phil Simmons

Soon after, Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, conveyed a similar viewpoint, and on Tuesday, Simmons also was adamant about the need for more tournaments.

The Coach, speaking blunting after losing the three-match One-Day International series to Ireland on Sunday in Jamaica, bemoaned the thinking process of the batsmen.

Looking ahead to the five-match Twenty20 series against England, which starts on Saturday in Barbados, Simmons expressed hope the young players can execute the skills they perform in the nets on the field of play.

“Ideally, the CPL is not enough,” the Coach stated in a response to a question on how he can get a wider talent pool.

“There are a lot of players who have been in the CPL for a while and they keep coming back because that is what we know and I believe they will come a time when we have to find that second competition below CPL, where we can see a lot of younger players and when the CPL drafts come up there is a lot more to choose from. So, I think that has to come [but] I don’t think that can come before World Cup this year, but I think that is something that has to be looked into.”

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.

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