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Cameron: CPL a tonic for region

Ezra Stuart

Cameron: CPL a tonic for region

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New West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Dave Cameron believes the success of the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will enrich the game in the Caribbean on and off the field of play.
Cameron said the CPL had brought a fresh surge of optimism towards improving the health of West Indies cricket, financially and otherwise.
The CPL brought back the capacity crowds to cricket in the Caribbean while television revenues have shown an increase, raising hopes of a turnaround in the West Indies’ fortunes.
In an interview with Gulf News, Cameron said the WICB was extremely pleased with the success of the CPL.
“It builds on the (WICB-organized) Caribbean Twenty20 (2010-2013) in energizing cricket throughout the region and getting the fans very excited about supporting regional teams,”?he added.
“The WICB is currently discussing and examining ways and opportunities of leveraging the success of the CPL to the wider benefit of West Indies cricket, particularly with regard to regional tournaments and match attendance.
“There is much to analyze and study and understand how we, as WICB, can benefit from the successful staging of the inaugural edition of the CPL.” 
He said the regional governing body stood to benefit financially from the CPL in two clearly defined areas.
“First, the WICB receives an annual licensing fee from the CPL for the rights to host the tournament. This fee will certainly contribute in a significant way towards the overall annual financial position of the WICB,” he said.
“Second, the WICB owns a stake of the CPL and once it becomes profitable, the WICB will receive a percentage of the profit share.”
The president said there were also other areas where there would be significant indirect benefits for the board.
“One of the most important areas in this regard is the CPL funding of 60 retainer contracts for regional players every year – which will allow a large group of players at the regional level to be able to give more professional attention to their cricketing careers.
“There will also be a number of development programmes that will be rolled out,” Cameron said.
He gave the thumbs-up to the involvement of several past West Indies greats in the form of coaching or consultants’ roles in the CPL.
“The WICB unequivocally supports and commends any and every opportunity that allows our legendary former players to nurture new talent and to give back to the sport.
“This is something the WICB has recognized for several years now and we have endeavoured to engage a number of former players throughout West Indies cricket at various levels and in various capacities.”
“There are very few, if any, legends of the game who have not been involved in West Indies cricket at one level or the other in some capacity after their retirement.
“I am particularly proud that one of my first acts as president of the WICB was to launch, in partnership with the West Indies Players’ Association, a retired players’ foundation to get our former greats to become more involved in WICB development programmes,” he said.
The WICB president also allayed fears about the long-term sustainability of the CPL and its transparency.
“When we structured the CPL, we were very deliberate in creating a tournament committee that is tasked with ensuring that the rules and regulations are upheld,” he said pointing out that a former Prime Minister of Jamaica, P.J. Patterson, chairs that committee.
“I have every confidence that they will continue to monitor the proceedings and to ensure that the CPL functions with integrity and transparency.
“I have also listened to the comments and reviews of the players, commentators and administrators and they have been almost 100 per cent positive and encouraging. That in itself is a ringing endorsement of the CPL.
“With regard to the business plan and the operational aspects of the CPL, it would be more appropriate to allow the CPL officials to address this directly.”
Cameron said he was delighted that the talents and skills of some of the younger West Indian players were gaining regional and international attention. (EZS)