CEO speaks ahead of WICB's One Day Tournament

ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- As we prepare to host the 2008 One-Day Regional Tournament in Guyana, we cannot help but hope that the tournament will be the beginning of a new focus on raising the bar in West Indies Cricket.

The results of the One-Dayers in recent years have been mixed; we have had some good performances but we have also witnessed scores and performances that are well below the first class standards that are to be expected from Regional Tournaments.

But this is a new day.  Fifteen (15) of our players are now in Abu Dhabi but that has allowed for the other one hundred and five (105) regional players who will compete in that tournament to grab the opportunity to showcase their talent and skills.

The WICB has made cricket development its top priority in its five (5) year development plan:

        The much awaited academy system will be launched on December 15th

        For the first time in its history the WICB will contract twenty nine (29) regional players including under 19 Players

        The Board has agreed to fund development officers positions in all territories to assist local boards with development

        The WICB has also increased the 4-day Regional Tournament which is the cornerstone of West Indies Cricket from four (4) weeks to thirteen (13) weeks with home and away games.  This will provide opportunities for each regional player to play at least ten (10) first class matches per season.

Against this background therefore, we expect players to recognize the tremendous opportunities that are available to further their careers as international cricketers and trust we will begin to see the kind of performances that will manifest positive change in West Indies Cricket.

I want to take this opportunity to encourage all players to excel.  The West Indies Team is looking for players who are critical thinkers and whose performances are consistent.

In Guyana, players will also have the opportunity to hear from the Selectors, from the CEO, from Anti-Doping and Anti-Corruption facilitators all in an effort to prepare them for a future as international cricketers.

May the best team win!

Note: The West Indies Cricket Board’s One-Day Tournament will be played in Guyana from November 13 to November 23. The teams participating are: Barbados, Canada, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, United States of America, Windward Islands.