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New season will improve WI - Cameron
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron says he expects the new franchise-based first-class season to significantly improve the fortunes of the senior West Indies team.
The season, which is scheduled to bowl off in November, will see franchises replacing the traditional territorial sides in a new professional set-up.
"I am very, very excited. What I would like to do is get the players to work as soon as possible so the tournament can be very, very good," Cameron said Thursday.
"This year, we're going to have 10 [rounds]. I am confident that the quality of the play will be much better and my estimation is that in two to three years we will be beating the best teams in the world."
Cameron was speaking just moments after the WICB and players union, WIPA, signed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding which will govern the season.
The new first class structure will see six franchises contracting 15 players each, and contesting ten rounds of matches. Along with the 15 players already contracted at the West Indies level, it means that 105 players will be engaged professionally.
Platini slams FIFA
GENEVA (AP):UEFA President Michel Platini denounced FIFA's handling of a luxury-gifts controversy yesterday and world football's governing body then disclosed it spent at least US$140,000 on watches for officials at the World Cup.
Platini was angered by FIFA publicly rebuking football officials who accepted gifts at the World Cup, saying he will donate about US$27,000 to charity rather than return the Parmigiani watch given to him by the Brazilian federation.
On Thursday, FIFA told officials they had until next month to return the Brazilian football confederation watch or face ethics proceedings for accepting a gift that had more than a "symbolic or trivial value".
Platini, one of FIFA President Sepp Blatter's biggest critics, questioned why the governing body is only now making an issue out of the Parmigiani watches.
ECB probing alleged racist incident
LONDON (AP):South African batsman Ashwell Prince says his on-field dispute with an opponent during a county championship match in England is being investigated by authorities because of "racial connotations".
Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale was banned for two matches after being reported by umpires for his part in an altercation with Prince, who plays for Lancashire. A disciplinary hearing has been convened after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) made a formal complaint about Gale's conduct.
"The ECB feels that it's got racial connotations to it and it's up to them to do whatever they want to do," said Prince, speaking to South African Internet radio station Ballz Radio.
British and South African media reports said Gale swore at Prince while referring to him as a "Kolpak". That phrase makes reference to a Maros Kolpak, a Slovakian handball player who set in motion a legal precedent that now allows some foreign-born cricketers to play in England under the laws of the European Union.