WICB to fund Regional 4-Day Competition

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has announced that the 2009 four-day regional tournament will feature a home and away format, which guarantees that first class players will now have the opportunity to play at least ten (10) first class matches a year.

An official release, issued by the WICB today (Sunday) pointed out that one of the key objectives of the Board’s Five Year Strategic Plan is to increase the number of first class matches through longer tournaments.

The WICB release added that in recent years, the cost of regional tournaments made it difficult to schedule longer tournaments on limited budgets.  The four-day tournaments would cost about $1.1 Million with sponsors contributing less than twenty-five per cent (25%).

This year, the release went on, the WICB decided to finance the entire regional tournament through its own cricket development funds. The Board says that local sponsors indicated that they were unable to cover more than 12% of the cost of the regional tournament, leaving the WICB with no choice but to fund the tournament in its entirety.

Carib, said the release, the previous sponsor of the regional tournament, was unable to meet the projected cost of sponsorship and consequently informed the WICB that “the unpredictable nature of the 2009 economy” made it difficult to sponsor the tournament this year.

The WICB says it is continuing to work with other potential sponsors, but in the interim, the 2009  tournament will be billed “the WICB four-day Regional Tournament”.