PORT-of-SPAIN: He has been through a lot but he stuck to what he believed in and today Dave Cameron’s vision is starting to bear fruit and for this he must be happy. The words of president of the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) Azim Bassarath, speaking on the efforts of CWI president Cameron to bring on stream the Professional Cricket League (PCL) in the West Indies. The PCL the brainchild of Cameron came on stream in 2014 and although it has been costly to sustain CWI has been able through prudent financial management, to fund the league. The league sees regional teams playing home and away games, which means that there is now more cricket being played in the Caribbean which is better for the players’ development according to cricket pundits. In order to make this PCL a reality, CWI had to put in place the franchise system and as a result of this players had to be retained. This meant that not only the West Indies players were paid a monthly salary but also 15 players from each territory.
According to Bassarath :”When the decision was made to share the wealth amongst more players the board came under fire. People were even calling for the head of the president which was unfair in my opinion. They did not even try to understand where we were going with this. Now a lot of players are coming out of the PCL and are being better prepared to play at the higher level. We are not beating the world right now but give it some time and you would see the benefits of the what the president saw a long while now.”
Bassarath as president of the T&TCB has had to find ways to get sponsors on board the Red Force franchise and it has not been easy given the current economic downturn. This is where CWI has stepped in. “This project was supposed to be funded in the initial stages by the West Indies Board and then each franchise was suppose to get investors to come in, so they could do it on their own. This has been hard to come by and as a result CWI has continued to bankroll this project because we see the tremendous value attached to it.
As a director of CWI, I am proud of the product we have been able to develop and it will get better as time goes by and we will continue to tweak as we see necessary.” The 2017/18 CPL bowls off in mid-November.