l St John’s
The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will contribute US$360,000 towards the annual retainer contracts for first-class players, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced yesterday.
The announcement follows a WICB meeting in March which approved a 19 point plan for the professionalisation of first-class cricket in the Caribbean starting next season.
“The professionalisation of first-class cricket in the Caribbean is long overdue and finally we have taken a firm decision to realise this,” said WICB CEO Michael Muirhead.
“It will be a most costly venture but one which is absolutely necessary for West Indies cricket to move forward. We are exceedingly grateful to the CPL for this significant commitment towards the funding of these annual first- class contracts”.
Some 15 players in each of the six territories will be contracted on a full-time, year-round basis.
This means 90 first-class players will be given annual contracts joining those contracted under WICB Annual Retainer Contracts.
“A fundamental part of CPL is securing the future of cricket in the Caribbean by creating a platform for the next generation of stars to showcase their talent to a global audience,” said CEO of the CPL, Damien O’Donohoe.
“Our partners at WICB are working towards getting West Indies cricket back to the top across all forms of the game and we at CPL will endeavour to play our part in that mission”.
West Indies Players Association (WIPA) president and CEO Wavell Hinds, was also positive about the development. “WIPA welcomes the contribution of the CPL to this programme, and we have also played a pivotal role in the process of bringing the professionalization of the first class game in the region closer to reality. Our members voted unanimously at our last AGM to support the initiative, and agreed to take the steps asked of them to make it happen. We see it as a great opportunity for a broader base of our membership to earn a living from the game,” said Hinds.
Under the new Professional First Class structure the contracts will see players being part of a First-Class Franchise system, the details of which are expected to be made public soon.