Well I decided to start this thread to see what y'all think are the problems and/or what could be done to correct them in West Indies cricket. That was the day before I found out about this: www.windiescricket.com/governance_committee.asp , where the Governance Committee appointed by the WICB led by former Prime Minister of Jamaica has invited views on the future of WI cricket. Just spurred me on further and so here are my thoughts.
1) Improvement of Domestic Cricket - It's just absolutely horrendous that the First Class season lasts just five games. Also, the maximum amount of List-A matches is just seven. There is no way international cricketers can be produced from such a system. I would have seven teams competing with the option of an eighth. These are Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Windward Islands, Guyana, Leeward Islands, West Indies B and the option of West Indies U-19. Each team would play each other thrice if just the seven are involved but only twice with the inclusion of West Indies U-19. West Indies B and U-19 would be composed of squads of 18 players with each player playing at least 6 matches in both forms of the game. All players would be contracted to their respective teams for a minimum of two seasons and a maximum of five excepting West Indies B and U-19. This does not mean that contracts can't be terminated but only at the completion of each season. Both forms should be played at the same time e.g Jamaica plays two List-A matches in three days then have a four day break followed by a First Class match with a List-A match three days after. The composition of West Indies B will be that of players outside the twenty-five selected by each of the six traditional teams and not eligible for West Indies U-19.
2) West Indies Academy - Plans are already afoot but I shall discuss this in any event. There should be academies set up in each of the six traditional territories with one of those six being a central academy preferably in one of the larger territories. Each academy shall hold a minimum of 25 youth between the ages of 14 and 17. The central academy however shall hold a minimum of 40 from the ages 14 to 20. Upon reaching the age of 17 or having shown enough prowess to complete the courses before said age, the graduates from each academy shall be transferred to the central academy not numbering more than 25 to comply with the guidelines set out in point 1. These 25 players shall comprise the West Indies U-19 and shall be contracted to said team and will be so until they are older than 19 before the start of a regional season or they opt out or are deemed not good enough. These players shall be first choice for West Indies B upon their eligibility for West Indies U-19 being surpassed.
3) Twenty/20 - The Twenty/20 competition should be run upon the completion of both the First Class and List-A seasons. The format as it is now is fine with there only being need for more cooperation between the WICB and the sponsor whoever that may be.
3) Funding - This is fundamental if any of the above are to be implemented. Ways need to be found to fund all the competitions, teams, academies, clubs and intangibles. These monies can be pursued through the avenues of sponsorships and merchandising. There is also the case for governments to assist in sponsorship in each of the traditional teams with the WICB sponsoring their affiliate teams. Another avenue is the establishment of a lottery as a steady stream of income for the WICB. In closing, merchandising is definitely an area to be looked into. The West Indies is one of the strongest cricketing brands around and this needs to be tapped into. Collaboration with the BCCI may be of assistance.
4) Club Cricket - This is an area that is suffering and needs desperate attention. Clubs in each territory should be subsidised by either governments and/or the territorial associations. Club cricketers should be compensated for each match played as well as bonuses for brilliant performances i.e. centuries, 5 wicket hauls, etc. An idea may be to have a regional playoff of the top club teams in each form from each territory. Facilities at these clubs need to be improved around the region with the addition of better seating and more practise nets including indoor nets.
5) West Indies Cricket Board - The President of the Board shall not serve more than two consecutive terms of three years each. Board members shall not serve more than two consecutive three year terms. The CEO shall be contracted for a period deemed fit but whose contract should only be renewed based on performance. There should also be a CARICOM representative present at all major Board meetings. The Board shall have major control over the academies as well as the West Indies B and U-19 teams. The Board shall also ensure the composition the coaching staff of each territorial team as well as the West Indies is such that there is but not limited to a Head Coach, an Assistant Coach, a Fielding Coach, a Batting Coach, a Bowling Coach, a Physiotherapist, a Fitness Coach and a Sports Psychologist. The psychologist is optional for the regional teams but necessary for the West Indies U-19 and West Indies teams.
Sorry about how the post sounds but it serves double purposes and so was required to be written as such.