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Twenty20 gets big in Windies

The Stanford competition is scheduled for July-August with as many as 19 teams from the region featuring in it.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 13:14 IST

The Asian lobby is still averse to the concept but Twenty20 is happening - or rather, about to happen - in a big way in the Caribbean. A competition in this variety of the game featuring as many as 19 teams from the region is set to take place in Trinidad during July-August.

The event, called Stanford Twenty20, is unique because it's different from the Caribbean first-class and one-day competitions, which involve six teams affiliated to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

The most interesting part of this story is that a West Indies team selected on the basis of how the players fare in this competition will face South Africa in a one-off Twenty20 tie in November where the winners will bag a whopping $5 million as prize money.

The Stanford Twenty20 event is not a mean affair either. It offers the champions $1 million.

Organisers have appointed 14 former West Indian players to oversee how the 19 participating teams are preparing.

Viv Richards, who's looking after Guyana and Montserrat (a part of Leeward Islands), says, "A lot of people left the ship with the West Indies not doing well in the international scene."

"This event is aimed at breeding competitiveness and we hope that a large part of that population will be back to cricket if this one clicks," he added.

Curtley Ambrose is in charge of St Kitts and Nevis (the two are fielding separate teams despite being one country), Andy Roberts is working with Jamaica, and Richie Richardson is involved with Dominica and Keyman Islands.

The Caribbean domestic competition, called the Carib Cup - and previously known as the Busta Cup, Red Stripe Cup and Shell Shield - is restricted to six teams, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Leeward Islands and Windward Islands, the last two being conglomerations of different nations.

The Stanford Twenty20 event is more microscopic in nature and wants to target islands that do not figure prominently on the Caribbean cricket map.

There is no confirmation whether it will become an annual event, but the involvement of legends such as Richards and Roberts and the amount of money associated with it is significant.