Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – The West Indies Cricket Board has taken the bold step to change the format for the Caribbean T20 tournament – and the new set-up will see more matches and more exposure for the region’s players.
Roland Holder, the WICB’s Manager of Cricket Operations, outlined that there will be several benefits to the game with the change of format, which has been extended from group matches to round-robin fixtures. This year, the tournament will get going with a grand opening ceremony at Queen’s Park Oval at 4 pm (3 pm Jamaica Time).
“Previously we had ten teams, including three visiting teams, for the Caribbean T20 tournament. The teams were split into two groups and played four matches each in the group stage of the. We had a review of the three previous tournaments in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and the decision was taken to stick to the seven regional teams,” Holder said.
“We re-examined the format and came up with what we are sure will benefit all the players and all the teams in the Caribbean T20 2013. We now have a round-robin format – which provides more cricket and is something the players and territorial boards have called for. This is sure to be a win-win as the players will have more matches and the fans will be able to witness more action on the field.”
Holder, a former Barbados captain and West Indies batsman who played 11 Test matches, noted that teams will have a lot more to play for and early defeats would not condemn a team to an early exit.
“In previous years you had a situation where if a team lost two of their first two matches, they faced the exit door quite early. This is unlikely to be the case in this tournament. If you lose early you still have a chance to rebound and compete in the tournament. We will also have a play-off on the final weekend before the Grand Final,” Holder said.
“This is also a new concept and we expect to see teams battling hard for the play-off spots. The Caribbean T20 has been a truly magnificent tournament for the players and the fans. At the WICB we constantly look at ways to improve conditions for our players, our match officials and all our stakeholders. We believe the new format for this year’s event will please everyone.”
The first match in the Caribbean T20 is Sunday with a showdown between defending champions Trinidad and Tobago and last year’s losing finalists Jamaica at Queen’s Park Oval. Matches will be played in Trinidad from Sunday to Saturday, January 12. The tournament then moves to St Lucia for the second phase at Beausejour Cricket Stadium from Tuesday, January 15 to Sunday, January 20.