Regional Super50 gets thumbs up
The region’s new director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, believes this year’s expanded Regional Super50, was a major stepping stone in helping players to set new standards of achievement.
During the tournament last month, the eight teams divided into two groups, played each other twice, leading to an extended preliminary round.
Adams, who last month took over the high profile role from Englishman Richard Pybus, said the new development was critical to the long-term improvement of the game.
“I think the first thing for me is that we got a chance [to play so many games]. I’m thankful for the opportunity the players got to play such a long tournament,” the former Test captain noted.
“I think the first thing for me was how much cricket we play and certainly to get the finalists to play 10 games, the losing semi-finalists nine and everybody else eight games, I think was a step in the right direction.”
He added: “But just to play as many games as we did play and getting batsmen [among the runs]. We had quite a few three-figure performances from some of our top batsmen. Going back a few years, they were a rarity.
“So I think it helps … to have the amount of games that we had played so that for me was a big plus.”
Eleven hundreds were scored in the tournament with the returning Kieran Powell notching three and current West Indies players Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope getting two apiece.
Two centuries came in the first semi-final courtesy of Chadwick Walton and Jermaine Blackwood as Jamaica Scorpions piled up a regional List A record 434 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
Last year, there were only three centuries scored and not a single score over 300.
Adams, who played 54 Tests and 127 One-Day Internationals for West Indies, said the standard set in the recent Super50 was one which needed to be maintained but pointed out that getting acclimatized to the new professional level would take time.
“Some of the performances we got in Barbados and Antigua were very encouraging and just to have players who are starting to appreciate more and more what sort of standard is expected from players who are trying to make it to the next level, I think that helps as well – communicating that very clearly,” he explained.
“And that’s going to be a challenge because we are now in a period of our cricket where we are trying to move our territorial boards out of an amateur system into a professional one.
“And there are tensions, you’d expect that. I don’t think those mindsets are going to be changing overnight. In some areas I’m quite happy with what they’ve been doing for 20, 30, 40 years.”
The Coolidge Cricket Ground – formerly the Stanford Cricket Ground – returned to use for the first time since the T20 tournament went defunct nine years ago, when it was used to host games in the Super50.
And Adams said the venue had proven to be a great choice for matches.
“The match facilities for the most part were adequate. I think we can eventually get even better wickets but given where the Coolidge ground was three months ago, I’m quite happy with what we had there.”