President's remarks at CPL launch
Following is a transcript of West Indies Cricket Board President, Dr Julian Hunte's speech at the launching of the Caribbean Premier League on Monday December 17th, 2012 at Cove Spring House in Barbados:
The honour is mine to bid you welcome to this historic occasion in West Indies cricket. It is the first media engagement following the recent announcement of the Caribbean Premier League.
A professional league of this nature and magnitude has been talked about for years. It is now a reality. In the coming year, we will have the first edition. Players will have opportunities right here within our region like they have not had before. They will earn more, have greater financial stability and they will have a global platform on which to display their skills and expertise in the game.
The WICB is particularly pleased about the opportunities the CPL will provide to players but is equally elated with the agreement which will allow for regional retainer contracts for a broad pool of players. This will truly allow for cricketers in the Caribbean to pursue their profession as professionals and not as semi-professionals or amateurs.
This, we at the WICB believe will allow for the strengthening and development of the game as while the CPL is a Twenty20 league the benefits that will accrue, specifically through the regional retainer contracts will extend to other formats of the game.
The realisation of the CPL is another landmark of the investor and commercial confidence which has been placed in the WICB and the brand of West Indies Cricket. It is another indicator that with the fundamentals for future success having been laid in place West Indies cricket is on the right course. It is in fact an endorsement of the Board and how far we have come from the times when cricket was not managed and governed as well as it could have been.
We are not operating at our optimal but we have had significant gains and continue to work to keep West Indies cricket on a forward course.
The Board thanks Verus International and Mr. Ajmal Khan in particular for the confidence they have placed in West Indies Cricket. In a time when the global financial climate is still tenuous they have stepped forward and are embracing West Indies cricket while taking risks which have not been attempted before.
Indeed there are those who believe that the time is still not right for a professional league in the West Indies and we know of other similar leagues in other parts of the world which have challenges but we see this bold initiative by Verus and Mr. Khan as one of confidence. Verus also brings to the table an enviable list of regional and global contacts who we envision will partner to realise a successful league.
West Indies cricket stands at the dawn of a new and exciting era. We have enjoyed recent successes, most notably our win in the ICC World Twenty20, but there are waters to be charted and paths to be cleared for we are on a forward thrust and we must remain resolute in our commitment to develop and expand.