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Rampersad calls on WICB to fund pro-league
Executive member of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) and president of Merryboys Cricket Club, Patrick Rampersad, says one of the solutions to solving the problems in West Indies cricket is getting a pro-league going in T&T and Barbados.
Rampersad said professionalism is badly lacking in West Indies cricket and if the players are not exposed to a professional environment during their club days, it will be hard to be any different when they graduate to the senior team.
“I agree with a column written in the Sportview in the Guardian that West Indies’ problems is just a reflection of the Caribbean society. In this regard, we need to look for a solution along these lines,” Rampersad said.
“After careful thought I think that one of the ways we can change things is by getting professionalism into the equation. I think that one of the best ways of doing this is by looking at the domestic cricket structure in the Caribbean and changing it from that level to the way up.” Rampersad said the solution can be found right here in T&T.
“The T&T domestic league is the best organised in the region, without a doubt. In this regard I think that T&T should be a catalyst for the positive change that is needed in West Indies cricket,” he said.
“I am calling for a professional league in T&T. This league would cater not only to players from this country but also for players from other regional countries as well.”
He added, “The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) must identify four players from each country they want to work with and assign them to the different clubs in Trinidad. These players must be up and coming youngsters. This would make 20 players from across the region available to play in the T&T professional league. Each club has to be funded by the West Indies Cricket Board.” He said under such a structure, the players would develop the professional attitude necessary to make them world class players.
“The clubs would cultivate in the youngsters the right attitude and bring that level of professionalism that is needed. The league can run for six months and the next six months they can do a similar professional league in Barbados. The set up will be similar to the English pro league.
“Here, the government of Trinidad and Tobago must also get involved in the league that is played in this country. We need to get State enterprises to adopt each of the 10 clubs, so that the money will be available to pay the players well. When this is done the players would be able to train every day and just concentrate on their cricket, because it then becomes their job. Professional managers, trainers, coaches and even scorers would then come into play as well and there would be employment for many people.”
He said the league should be played from Friday to Sunday as three-day games, adding once the players are contracted by the clubs they would not need to seek permission from any employer to play on the Friday because their employer would be the owners of the pro league
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