The West Indies Retired Players Foundation (WIRPF) will be focused on discounted health care and assistance to former players; providing bursaries and scholarships to aspiring West Indies cricketers who want to pursue tertiary education; fund-raising events across the West Indian diaspora and the wider global cricket community; and workshops, seminars and technical clinics.
The WIRPF, a joint initiative between the WICB and WIPA formed on July 17 last year, will also be primarily responsible for ensuring retired West Indies cricketers can contribute to the development of the regional game. throughout the world via sit-down discussions, golf and other sporting events
At the Trinidad launch of the initiative yesterday at the Hyatt Trinidad, Dr Nigel Camacho and assistant to WICB president Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron, Carole Beckford announced the initiatives to be undertaken by the Foundation.
“We are trying to bridge the gap between players who are currently playing and those who are retired,” said Camacho. “The idea is that former players will be able to assist current players giving them full access.”
Camacho is one of the five members of the WIRPF board along with former West Indies and Jamaica batsman and West Indies Players Association president Wavell Hinds and Nixon Mc Lean, Brian George (chairman), and Delano Franklyn.
Beckford said the WIRPF, the brainchild of WICB president Dave Cameron, will offer administrative and professional assistance to retired cricketers so they can develop a career after their cricket days.
Camacho said the Foundation has been buttressed with an undisclosed sum of money from the WICB which will immediately help it to assist some retired cricketers in need.
Camacho also said the monies minus administrative expenses will go directly to the Foundation.
“The West Indies Retired Players Foundation, I stress , belongs to the West Indies players. I stress on that,” he said.
In terms of medical assistance, Camacho said the WIRPF will assist and deal with applications on a needs basis and according to the WIRPF constitution.
The first launch took place last week in Barbados, with the endorsement of the legendary Sir Garfield Sobers and celebrated Sir Garry’s 60th anniversary of his entry into Test cricket.
Sir Garry and the West Indies T20 team were present along with former greats like Sir Vivian Richards, Joel Garner, Charlie Griffith, Seymour Nurse, Cammie Smith, Jeffrey Dujon, Patterson Thompson of the West Indies Players Association, Cameron, and McLean.