The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has decided to increase the number of matches in the regional T20 cricket tournament and this has come as welcome news for defending champions T&T.
Ace leg-spinner Samuel Badree says the more cricket one plays it gives a better chance to have a true winner. “With the last format you can have one bad game and that is it for you. I like this new format because it will give us an opportunity to play more cricket and it gives teams another chance should they slip up in one game.
“With more matches being played you will have to be more consistent in your play and the eventual winner would be deserving of the title. And by the way the more cricket that is played, the better it is for the players.” The new format has also found favour with manager of the national team Omar Khan. “We are going to have more matches and this would lead to better cricket. Teams will have time to come into their own in the tournament and this would be good for the game. We will now have more competitive matches due to this.
“T&T are the defending champions and we have no problems with the new format. We will be looking to play each game as if it is a final and we will be looking to repeat as regional champions, go to the Champions League and give a better account of ourselves this time around.”
Also in support of the new format is president of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), Azim Bassarath. “We are totally in support of this new format because it makes the tournament more competitive. Teams will be getting second chances and you have to be at the top of the game in order to be the champions. Also some of the teams that may not have had too much exposure to this T20 format would have more opportunities to play and their players would only stand a chance to improve.”
Under the new format, each team will play each other in the round robin format with the team ending with most points advancing to the finals. The second place team will then play the third place team and the winner of this match will join the round robin winner in the finals.
Meanwhile, Bassarath said he is not happy with the format of the Champions League. “You have one country, although they own the tournament, having four teams play and yet as was the case of T&T, the West Indies champions have to go into a play-off. This cannot be representative of a true world champions league.
“Looking at the results of some of the IPL teams in this tournament, I am hoping that the organisers take another look at the format and try to bring more teams into the main draw and decrease the number of IPL teams. “I know that the argument is that the IPL teams are the ones that pull the broadcast dollars but I am of the view that once this becomes a true champions league the sponsorship will still come in.”