New tools for Windies blind team
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - The West Indies Cricket Council for the Blind (WICCB) got a push in the right direction yesterday when they received a donation of cricketing equipment from the Australian government.
The association, who made the bold decision to cancel this year’s regional tournament, did so in order to be able to foot the bill for a tour of India later this year.
Being invited by the World Blind Cricket Council to Bangalore from December 1-9, the regional body took the decision to forgo what would have been the sixth annual tournament so that attendance would be more feasible. The endeavour, which is expected to have a price tag of BDS$130 000, will see each territory in the region attempting to raise the funds for their players. Six Barbadians, seven from Trinidad and Tobago, two from Guyana and eight from five-time winners of the regional competition Jamaica, have been short-listed to make up part of a 17-member squad to India.
Australian Honorary Consul James Gardiner was on hand at yesterday’s media briefing at Kensington Oval to hand over the equipment, which included bats and several pairs of gloves to the WICCB. He jokingly revealed that the parties that he represented were pleased to be assisting the regional body in such a worthy effort despite the ongoing battle between the teams in the current tour of the West Indies.
The six Barbadian players who were short-listed accepted the gear on behalf of the regional side, and they were Kci Ward-Ryan, Mark Goddard, Anthony Cummins, Ricardo Manning, Granville Carter and Halden Forde.
With a new relationship being fostered between the West Indies Cricket Board and the WICCB, the WICCB are currently in talks to secure US$700 000 for a five-year programme which will see a bigger and better annual regional tournament. The WICCB, which governs the Atlantic side of the region and includes North America, also hopes to open an administrative office based in Trinidad.
Other major moves the Council has on the books are their own website, as they currently share the WIBC’s website, and provision of insurance coverage for the players.