West Indies announces cricket league similar to IPL

April 24th, 2008 - 10:59 am ICT by admin  

By Paras Ramoutar
Port-of-Spain, April 24 (IANS) Saying that one day a parallel league will emerge similar to that of the Indian Premier League (IPL), West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA) President Dinanath Ramnarine has announced that a $160,000 jackpot is at stake in a Twenty20 Club Championship to be held between May 2-l1 in Trinidad. The runners-up at the tournament will receive $50,000, and several of the top cricket clubs in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, St. Kitts, Barbados, among others will participate in what is being described as the “most lucrative club competition”.

Ramnarine said one of the main reasons for this project was “the development of communities which the clubs represent”.

“We want to stretch that association to other territories, to develop relationships among clubs and communities within the region and engage in a virtual twinning, tripling, quadrupling exercise.

“We want to encourage competition, rivalry and camaraderie in a truly West Indian atmosphere and all that goes with it,” he said.

Ramnarine, a former West Indies spin bowler, pointed out that cricket was the single and most unifying sport of the West Indies, bringing together people of different cultures, religions, ethnicities and social status with the tournament being a small start for the clubs dismissing the claims that WIPA is solely focused on international cricket.

This new initiative comes from, among others, former cricket stars of the 1980s and 1990s like Colin Croft, Rajindra Dhanraj, Curtly Ambrose and Ramnarine himself.

Sponsors of the League are Toyota Trinidad, First Citizens, TCL Group of Companies and Caribbean News Media Group.

Meanwhile, according to West Indies manager Omar Khan, the gains made during the recent West Indies-Sri Lanka series need to be maintained.

West Indies drew the two-match Test series 1-1 against Sri Lanka, and took the One-Day International series 2-0, the final one being washed out by rain.

“The boys had a good series against Sri Lanka both in the Test and One-Day Internationals and now they must understand that they need to build on this momentum,” Khan told the media.

“Against Sri Lanka, we saw intelligent cricket being played by the guys and they were thinking out situations which was good for us.

“Now that they have to understand that they need to build on this performance in order to get positive results against the world’s number one team, Australia.”

Khan said that the current commitment shown by the players and with hard work leading up to the series, he was confident that the team would have positive results against Australia.

He pointed out that the next few weeks would be critical for the West Indies team and could well determine how well they do against the Australians.

The Kangaroos start their tour of the West Indies May 22 with the first Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica.

The new West Indies manager pointed out that the four West Indies players currently playing in the IPL would be back in time for the Test series.

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