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T20 tournament to start today

Ezra Stuart

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RAIN, RAIN, stay away and let the Caribbean cricketers get some play in the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) inaugural Twenty20 Cup bowling off Kensington Oval today.There was persistent rain for most of yesterday but once there is sunshine today, cricket will be possible at “The Mecca” where there is an excellent drainage system.Undisputed kings of one-day cricket in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago, probably still smarting from their impressive showing in the last year’s Champions League in India when they reached the final, bowl their campaign against Canada in the first match of a double header at 4 p.m.
Second matchIt will be followed by an 8 p.m. encounter between Jamaica and the Leeward Islands.With an admission fee of a mere $10, local fans are expected to leave work and take in the action with West Indies players, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Denesh Ramdin and Darren Bravo in a Trinidad and Tobago side, led by Daren Ganga.Fans will also want to see the second coming of the stylish Jamaica Marlon Samuels, who makes a return to the regional cricket after a two-year ban.Also of interest will be how West Indies’ captain Chris Gayle performs in a Jamaica side under the leadership of the heavy-set Tamar Lambert.The teams will be seeking to lift the brand new silver Caribbean T20 trophy and a first prize of US $25 000. There is also the huge incentive of representing the region at the Airtel Champions League in South Africa in September.The second placed team will receive US$10 000, the third placed side will pocket US $6 000 while US $4 000 will go to the fourth placed team. The most outstanding player in each of the 16 matches will receive US $500 and a showpiece Caribbean T20 Man-of-the-Match plaque.“There is a certainly a lot to play for in the Caribbean T20. The cricketers participating will have every reason to go out and give their all for their team and their country,” said Nelecia Yeates, the WICB Commercial Manager.“Every step of the way they will know the bountiful rewards are in store. There is also the honour of being the first team to lift the magnificent Caribbean T20 trophy, which has been specially designed for this event,” she added.