'Clear favourites' tag becoming irrelevant in regional cricket

St John's, Antigua - Predicting ‘clear favourites’ in regional cricket is becoming increasingly perilous said President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Dr. Julian Hunte as he congratulated Barbados and Leeward Islands for their shared triumph in the recently concluded WICB Regional 50 Over Tournament.

“Congratulations to both Barbados and Leeward Islands for producing what turned out to be a phenomenal and historic result in the final,” Dr. Hunte said.

“The performances of both teams throughout the tournament were worthy of them being finalists and the WICB is immensely proud of the two teams for making what was a low scoring final into a match which ended in high drama,” Dr Hunte noted.

Barbados and surprise finalists Leeward Islands played to a tie in a low scoring match at Sabina Park on Sunday.

“Barbados played with a clinical efficiency as they made their way to the final while the Leeward Islands displayed an unyielding tenacity from their opening match to the final ball of the Tournament,” Dr Hunte said.

“I must observe that with the Leeward Islands making it to the finals and showcasing that they are a team on the move forward, to predict that one team or another is a clear favourite in regional cricket is becoming more and more difficult,” Dr Hunte said.

“In recent years we have had Trinidad and Guyana winning T20 titles, Jamaica winning 4 day titles, Barbados making two consecutive finals and Windward Islands playing consistently competitive cricket and pulling off an increasing number of victories against some of the traditionally more established teams,” Dr Hunte observed.

“These are good and positive signs for the future even as the WICB recognizes that there is much more work to be done in continuing to improve the standard of regional cricket,” Dr Hunte said.

“And it is in this regard that we are most pleased to have the involvement of the two top teams from the ECB’s Friends Provident t20 in the Caribbean T20 along with the English Lions for our Regional 4 Day Tournament in 2011,” Dr Hunte pointed out.
“Finally, on behalf of the Board I would like to thank the Jamaica Cricket Association for hosting the Tournament which they delivered in a usually competent manner despite many challenges from the weather,” Dr Hunte said.