Increased retainer will lead to stronger WI team - Cameron
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president, Dave Cameron, is expressing delight at the projected benefits for players and the regional team, from the upcoming new-look Regional Four-Day Tournament.
The tournament, to be played on a home-and-away basis, is set to bowl off in November and will see the six traditional territorial teams being replaced by six territorial-based franchise teams, similar to that of the two-year-old Caribbean Premier League Twenty20.
The franchises, which will operate independently of the various territorial cricketing bodies, are to commence operations on September 1.
"Exciting times are ahead for West Indies cricket," said Cameron, while delivering the keynote address at Melbourne Cricket Club's annual summer camp closing ceremony at the weekend.
"Currently we have 15 players that are retained by the WICB to play cricket full-time. These include Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, etc.
"Come September first, however, you are now going to have 105. Fifteen from each territory, for a total 90, plus the 15 at the WICB level."
According to Cameron, whose administration announced plans for the tournament in March, the increase in players with retainer contracts will allow the cricketers to operate on a full-time basis.
This, he says, should allow the players to develop their game with greater effect and make the West Indies team a stronger unit.
The players, who will be employed on a year-round basis, are expected to be paid salaries between US$16,000 and US$24,000 per year, in addition to match appearance fees.
"One of the reasons why we are giving these retainers is because we want to retain our best players to play in our regional competitions," Cameron continued.
"This is so that they can pass on information to younger players coming up."
Meanwhile, as it relates to the make-up of players for each franchise, Cameron outlined that in the first year it will be a minimum of 10 locals per franchise and in year two, and onwards, a free market system.