WIPA: CCC exclusion a ‘backward step’

 The West Indies Players Association (WIPA) has expressed its concern over “unconfirmed media reports” that Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) are to be excluding from the upcoming first class season.

Last week, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) CEO Michael Muirhead confirmed that it was likely CCC would be axed from the two regional tournaments, the Regional Super50 and Regional Four-Day competitions.

But ahead of Saturday’s scheduled WICB meeting, WIPA is asking the Board to “provide us with the rationale for the proposed dropping of the CCC team” according to WIPA CEO Michael Hall.

According to the release, Wavell Hinds, former West Indies opener now WIPA president, was contacted early last month by CCC players and officials expressing their concerns about being dropped from the competitions. CCC were last year’s beaten finalists in the Regional Super50.

“The WICB has publicly cited its desire to make its tournaments commercially viable as one of the reasons for removing the CCC team, suggesting that it was “easier” to include two international country teams and promote national rivalry in an effort to extend the commercial value, especially as it relates to international TV broadcast,” the release quoted Hall as saying.

“We applaud any effort by the WICB to generate additional revenues, especially as we look toward negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which could very well feature the establishment of a Player Payment Pool – which would be funded by an agreed percentage of the WICB’s revenues.

“But the search for revenues cannot be at the expense of “Jobs” for our own regional players. WIPA believes in the concept of a CCC team; we were fully supportive of it when it was introduced, and remain so now.”

WIPA also pointed out that since their entry into the competition in 2007, they have “performed admirably and certainly no worse than any of the other traditional teams”.

“In the Super50 competition they were semi-finalists in 2009 and 2011 (they missed a semi-final spot in 2012 on NRR) and losing finalists in 2013. In the Regional 4-day they were league champions in 2011, before losing to Jamaica in the final. Some of the better known cricketers who have played for the CCC team include Jason Holder, Chadwick Walton and Carlos Brathwaite,” Hall further said.

“Both WIPA and the CCC hierarchy made the strongest possible representation to the WICB for the continued inclusion of the team in regional competition, which apparently has fallen on deaf ears.”

Hall added: “It seems irrational, and shows a lack of thought for the WICB to abandon the CCC project after such a short time, especially when it was they themselves who promoted it as such a great idea in the first place. WIPA sees this as a backward step.”

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