CWI to explore ways to improve regional professional cricket set-up — Skerritt

Monday, April 22, 2019

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Cricket West Indies (CWI) President Ricky Skerritt, in Jamaica to hold a series of meetings with stakeholders last week, says his administration will explore ways to improve the regional professional cricket set-up.

“The standards [in regional cricket] have to continue going up; the injection of money and expertise and science and technology into the franchise system has to improve,” Skerritt told journalists before a meeting with other members of the CWI at Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel last Wednesday morning.

“I have no doubt you will continue to see emerging players coming through — from the Under-19, Under-17 and Under-15 coming right up to the elite level,” said the former West Indies senior team manager.

The Professional Cricket League (PCL) franchise system was introduced in the 2014-15 campaign under previous CWI boss Whycliffe “Dave” Cameron.

Encompassing the four-day and 50-over cricket tournaments, it has been transformative, offering players vastly better remuneration and more matches per season via a return to a home-and-away format.

“We knew that it was a good start; everybody that I know, certainly within the circles of Cricket West Indies, welcomed the start of the PCL. [But] this is the time to review and see how we can build on what's there,” added Skerritt, who defeated Cameron at the polls last month.

“What has been, I think, significantly absent is the consistency and quality of the high-performance input. We have to just help them [players] to understand their responsibility, and the commitment and hard work that's required for improving professionalism in the cricket,” the Kittitian explained.

The partnership discussions in Jamaica included a sit-down with The University of the West Indies.

The new cricket president noted that CWI will be targeting development of cricketers through technological support from the university community in the Caribbean.

“We're looking at bigger, more medium — to longer-term programmes [in which] the science and technology and research that the university brings to the table become key ingredients for us.

“We emphasise that there is a difference between a high performance centre and a high performance system. We will have more than one centre; the two main centres will, of course, be the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua and Cave Hill, Barbados. But ultimately it is a system that is going to contribute to helping our players be the best they can be,” Skerritt said.

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