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Bajan Pride

Kenmore Bynoe

Bajan Pride

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The aborted tour of India may have created embarrassment for West Indies cricket but there may be a silver lining behind that cloud of shame.

Yesterday, chairman of selectors for the Barbados franchise in the inaugural Professional Cricket League, Hendy Wallace, said the abandonment has handed Barbados greater options of talent and an expanded draft pool of 20 players.

“Suffice it to say the abandonment of the series in India has put a totally different spin of our draft plans where we had to add five players to the original ten and now we have 20,” he said.

“ . . . One can argue this has a positive for Barbados as it shows the proliferation of talent in Barbados.”

Wallace was speaking at a media conference after the team’s launch as the Barbados Pride at Kensington Oval.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, speedsters Jason Holder and Kemar Roach along with left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn became available following the cancellation of the India series. Had the series gone to term, they would have returned home for just about a week before heading off to South Africa and the World Cup, once selected.

At the briefing, chairman of the Barbados franchise, Conde Riley, who is also a board member of the Barbados Cricket Association, introduced the interim CEO of the BCA, David Deane, to the media.

Riley also unveiled the name of the Barbados franchise – Barbados Pride – and displayed the logo – a Pride of Barbados flower. 

He said Barbados had won 24 cups in 48 years and that proclaimed Barbados as the kings and lions of regional cricket who would hunt and play as “a pride”.

Riley indicated that the new league was supposed to provide 12 months of income for the regional cricketers and that the concept was supposed to develop domestic and West Indies cricket as well as provide financial security for the players.

“This is the best thing to happen to West Indies cricket for a long time and we hope that after three years, corporate entities would buy into the franchise,” said Riley.

The dreaded chikungunya virus has, however, affected Barbados’ selection for this weekend’s first game against Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain, with contracted players Kyle Hope, Kyle Corbin and Kenroy Williams having to miss out.

Wallace indicated that former captain Ryan Hinds had answered all of the questions asked of him since his return from Dubai and that he was recalled to the team to lend some experience when originally a number of top players would have been absent.

“Ryan has been selected for his experience and he has demonstrated a level of maturity on and off of the field.

“Ryan’s commitment to his level of fitness and to the game as well as his commitment to his club Empire gained his recall to the Barbados team,” said Wallace.

However, the frank-speaking Wallace expressed concern that the draft was not followed in the manner that the powers that be had envisaged.

“A lot of the territories opted to remain with their home players as there was a level of trepidation as to how the system was supposed to work,” he said.

“I guess that by next year a greater understanding would see more selections taking place from outside of the various territories.”

Both Wallace and Riley pointed out that the dissolution of the Combined Colleges and Campuses further expanded the talent pool.