Cameron: WI cricket on the rise again
KOLKATA, India (CMC):
Embattled West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron believes the region's recent success on the international stage shows that West Indies cricket is on the rise again. He has also given the assurance that the recent pay dispute with players has been "amicably settled".
He was speaking on Friday after West Indies beat tournament favourites India on Thursday to reach the final of the Twenty20 World Cup for the second time in three competitions.
West Indies Women also advanced to the final of the T20 World Cup for the first time when they defeated New Zealand Women also on Thursday.
And with the Under-19 Windies side having captured the ICC Youth World Cup earlier this year, Cameron said it was proof that West Indies cricket was "headed in the right direction."
"It is the beginning of the revival process," Cameron told the Times of India newspaper.
"We have put in place a robust system that will take some more time to churn out the results we want. The success of our U-19, ladies and men's team proves that we are headed in the right direction".
Once World champions, West Indies have slipped to the bottom of international cricket in recent years, following poor results, especially in the Test and one-day formats.
They are ranked number eight in Tests, the lowest of all major cricket nations and only above Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and are ninth in ODIs, resulting in their non-qualification for next year's Champions Trophy in England.
However, Cameron said the WICB had made key structural changes which would see the continued rise of West Indies cricket.
"Before 2005, we had an amateurish set-up in first-class cricket, where players only got to play just five four-day matches in a season. We have now replaced that with a professional set-up and players get to play at least 10 matches," the Jamaican explained.
He added: "We have 15 players who are currently contracted to the WICB. Besides this, we have 90 others who are contracted to the six regional franchises. The franchise teams currently compete in the four-day WICB Professional League as well as the one-day WICB Super 50 Tournament.
"Currently, 11 women players are centrally contracted. They played some good cricket to get into the WT20 final for the first time and we hope they will go all the way."