WICB Four-Day Tournament starts January 8
ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- The West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) Four-Day Tournament for 2010 will bowl off on January 8, the Board announced on Tuesday. The upcoming season will feature seven teams, with 21 matches being played over a two-month period and will have several new initiatives aimed at bringing spectators back to the game.
Dr Ernest Hilaire, Chief Executive Officer of the WICB, said the new drive includes day/night matches with pink balls with each team playing at least one match under lights.
The other initiative is the hosting of an entire round in one territory and the creation of a cricket festival atmosphere to offer more scope for sponsorship and event promotion. In addition, this format will pose less logistical and physical challenges with travel and hotel arrangements.
“Spectator interest in regional matches has been declining in recent years and we are looking at different ways to organise our tournaments and ensure greater value for all our stakeholders, including players and spectators. We at the WICB aim to bring the game back to the fans and we believe the new format of having day/night cricket in the four-day tournament will help to generate public interest and also be a winner with the players and officials,” Dr Hilaire said.
Dr Hilaire indicated that it was a difficult exercise to include and schedule day/night fixtures but explained that the Board had to be brave and try new things and approaches. As part of the new set-up the data will be collected on the impact on players, spectators, match officials and spectators. At the conclusion the format will be reviewed and compared to experiences with other formats used over the last decade.
Dr Hilaire added: “We are hoping to breathe new life into West Indies cricket at all levels and a major part of that is to get fans coming back to the game they love. We are looking at ways of re-engineering the game and raising the standards on and off the field. We will also be looking to utilise some of the wonderful facilities we have in the region as we seek to develop players who will be able to represent the people of the Caribbean at the highest level.”
The first round bowls off on January 8-11 in Jamaica and from there the tournament moves to the Leeward Islands (January 15-18), to Barbados for two rounds (January 22-25 and January 25 to February 1). There will be a break from February 2 to 11, before play resumes in Guyana for the fifth round (January 12-15). The penultimate round will be in Trinidad (February 19-22) before the final round in the Windwards on January 26 to March 1.
Fixtures in the West Indies Cricket Board’s Four-Day Tournament 2010 (venues to be determined)
Round 1: January 8-11 in Jamaica
Jamaica vs Windward Islands
Trinidad and Tobago vs Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC)
Barbados vs Leeward Islands
Round 2: January 15-18 in Leeward Islands
Jamaica vs Leeward Islands – St Kitts or Antigua
Barbados vs CCC – St Kitts
Guyana vs Trinidad and Tobago – Antigua (day/night)
bye: Windward Islands
Round 3: January 22-25 in Barbados
Barbados vs Trinidad and Tobago
Windward Islands vs CCC
Jamaica vs Guyana
bye: Leeward Islands
Round 4: January 29-February 1 in Barbados (hosted by CCC)
CCC vs Guyana
Trinidad and Tobago vs Leeward Islands
Windward Islands vs Barbados (day/night)
Round 5: February 12-15 in Guyana
Guyana vs Barbados
CCC vs Jamaica (day/night)
Leeward Islands vs Windward Islands
bye: Trinidad and Tobago
Round 6: February 19-22 in Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago vs Windward Islands
Barbados vs Jamaica
Guyana vs Leeward Islands
Round 7: February 26-March 1 in Windward Islands
Guyana vs Windward Islands in Grenada
Trinidad and Tobago vs Jamaica in Grenada
CCC vs Leeward Islands in St Lucia (day/night)