Manager of cricket operations of the West Indies Cricket Board, Roland Holder, says there will be several benefits to the game with the change of tournament formats for the next regional season.
Holder noted that the WICB was fulfilling its mandate to provide its players with more cricket with the change of format to the Regional Super50 tournament.
The WICB agreed at a recent directors’ meeting to play next year’s limited overs tournament simultaneously with the Regional 4-Day Tournament.
“We have returned to what happened in the past,” said Holder, during a brief explanation given at the media conference on Monday at Kensington Oval to formally introduce new WICB chief executive Michael Muirhead.
“In the last two or three seasons, by virtue of us playing the RS50 in October/ November, we have had several matches rained out. We were in an unwelcomed situation where a team made it into the semi-finals having played one match, which severely affected the competitiveness of the tournament.”
Holder added: “By moving it out of the hurricane season and into the traditional cricket season, we have increased the number of matches and each team will now play a minimum of six matches as opposed to the three matches they played in the two or three previous seasons, which increases the amount of cricket they will have to play.
“It gives us those benefits and allows us to provide more cricket for the fans, more One-day cricket for our players, and gives us the benefit of good weather in which to play the tournament.”
Holder, a former Barbados captain and West Indies batsman, said the format and playing conditions would also allow territories that have floodlit stadiums to contest matches under lights.
“This will allow us to play more matches under lights, which is the way how most One-day Internationals are now being played,” he said.
Holder said the regional governing body had also made provision to allow teams to change their playing/travelling squads between the four-day and 50-overs competitions.
“We have made provision in the playing conditions to allow teams to allow territories to change a number of players, so that they came bring players in to adjust to the different forms of the game,” he said.
“We have recognised that there is still specialist cricket around and the directors in their wisdom have made the decision that territories will be allowed to replace up to three players at the WICB’s cost.”
Territorial boards may however, make additional changes at their cost.
Next year’s 50-overs games are set to begin on February 7, with the four-dayers starting two days later. (windiescricket)