ABCA and Cool & Smooth seal T20 deal
Antigua Observer article.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Organisers of the Cool & Smooth Twenty20 Tournament and Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) have agreed to a five-year deal that will affect the structure of the shortened version of the game here.
Under the new agreement, ABCA will revive its own T20 tournament slated for May 27 to June 7 and sponsored by George Hourani, while in August, the ABCA/Cool & Smooth T20 Invitational will be played amongst 12 invited clubs.
ABCA spokesperson Seth Burton explained how the two competitions would co-exist.
“Just to make the distinction, this invitational will be amongst 12 invited clubs; this will include clubs from the Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association, Parish League and also one invited overseas team,” he said.
“In this format (Cool & Smooth), local teams would have the opportunity of including overseas based players for the invitational. So therefore, one T20 – the ABCA competition (May 27 to June 7) only (for) the ABCA clubs – and secondly, the Cool & Smooth ABCA T20 Invitational.”
The staging of the Cool & Smooth event had been in doubt after news broke in March that the organisers and ABCA could not reach an amicable agreement over a rights fee. The figure has reportedly jumped from $5,000 in 2013 to a whopping $20,000 for this year’s tournament.
The Cool & Smooth Invitational tournament, Burton said, will also be managed by a board.
“The Cool & Smooth T20 Invitational will be jointly managed by a committee comprising members of the ABCA and the Cool & Smooth organisers. The ABCA also wishes to note that yes, there was a delay in the process because both sides wanted to make sure that their expected objectives would have been met and also as they move forward into the tournament,” the PRO said.
The cricket commentator added that for the ABCA’s tournament, an outside team would be invited to compete.
“From the ABCA standpoint, it was decided that it would invite an all-star team from the Trinidad Cricket Board for the T20 tournament,” Burton said.
“So that team should be here in June and will play against an ABCA select training squad which should have played in the Leeward’s tournament; but due to that delay or that put off, it would allow the opportunities for the selectees to be involved in matches with the T&T Cricket Board.”
The Cool & Smooth Invitational T20 will be played in June between teams from the ABCA, Parish League and other invited countries. For this championship, local teams may use overseas players. The prize monies total $50,000.