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Windwards cricket coach welcomes new regional formats

Windwards cricket coach  welcomes new regional formats

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Coach of the Windward Islands senior cricket team, Ian Allen, says he agrees with the new formats of the West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) regional 50-over competition and the regional Twenty/20 competitions.{{more}}

The WICB agreed at a recent directors’ meeting to play next year’s RS50 simultaneously with the regional 4-Day tournament, beginning February 7.

The regional governing body would also allow teams to change their playing/travelling squads between the four-day and 50-overs competitions.

Unlike previous years, which saw the competition staged in October/November and teams zoned, this time around, teams will play each other once. The team that finishes with the highest number of points after all of the preliminary matches will automatically qualify for the grand final.

The teams that finish second and third will qualify for the play-off. The winner of the play-off will be the other side to play in the final.

Similarly, the regional T-20 competition will take a round robin format.

Each of the seven regional teams — Barbados, the Combined Colleges and Campuses, Jamaica, Guyana, the Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Windwards — will play each other once. The team that finishes with the highest number of points after all of the preliminary matches will automatically qualify for the grand final.

The teams finishing second and third will qualify for the play-off. The winner of the play-off will be the other side to play in the grand final.

Allen told SEARCHLIGHT last Sunday: “I agree with the new formats; it is something I have been calling for all along … I think we need to play a lot more matches against all of the others and I hope the players take it with both hands.”

Allen, in commenting on the fact that both the four-day and the 50-overs will be played alongside each other said: “It is not a bad thing to do, but it will pose a bit of challenge in terms of making the switch mentally and technically from one format to the other, as the two require a different skill set.

“… what is important also is that during that period of the competitions, there will be two touring teams in the Caribbean, so players will have more matches and force themselves into the regional team.”

Allen, a former St Vincent and the Grenadines, Windwards and West Indies fast bowler, recounted playing both the four-day and 50 overs during the 1980’s.

He said he thinks that the change in formats should benefit the Windwards players, as they often suffer from not being engaged in top level competition consistently.

The 2013 regional Twenty20 tournament will be staged from January 6 to January 20 in Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia.

The Queen’s Park Oval will host round one, two and three, with the remainder of the tournament set for the Beausejour ground in St Lucia.

The winner of the regional competition qualifies for the 2013 champions league.

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