Mon | May 27, 2024

Rowley optimistic about conference on West Indies cricket

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2024 | 12:09 AM
T&T Prime Minister Keith Rowley
T&T Prime Minister Keith Rowley

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

TRINIDAD AND Tobago (T&T) Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, said he was looking forward to the discussions and outcomes of the CARICOM conference on West Indies cricket.

Rowley is the current chairman of the Caricom prime ministerial sub-committee on cricket, and has been one of the main proponents of Cricket West Indies governance reform.

He will chair the conference, which takes place from April 25 to 26 in the T&T capital and is expected to be attended by “all relevant agencies, organisations, cricketing legends, former and current players, clubs, coaches, and administrators”, including personalities such as CWI president, Dr Keyshore Shallow.

Entitled ‘Reinvigorating West Indies Cricket – A Symposium for Strategic Collaboration and Innovation’, the conference will be jointly hosted by the T&T government and CARICOM, and will engage topics such as the strategic direction of West Indies cricket, the development of cricket, and cricket and tourism.

“We are hoping that we will have a full blow-out on West Indies cricket,” Rowley said during a post-Cabinet news conference on Thursday. “Hopefully, what will come from that is some way forward.

“What we are hoping to do, and I am hoping that this conference can show us the way forward, is to make sure that the best players play for West Indies at all levels in all the (formats) of the game.”

Rowley drew reference to the news that efforts were being made to coax T&T mystery spinner Sunil Narine to come out of retirement and play for West Indies during the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup in June in the Caribbean and the United States.

Narine is still actively playing in franchise T20 leagues around the world, and he made headlines this past week when he slammed his maiden T20 hundred for Kolkata Knight Riders in the wildly popular and lucrative Indian Premier League.

Rowley said one of the objectives of the conference was to develop a framework that will make it attractive to have the best players always playing for West Indies.

“What is happening is that we do not have a management or support structure that allows that to happen,” he added.

“Cricket nowadays is a multibillion-dollar business, and going through from school to play for West Indies is no longer the single pathway.

“There are a whole plethora of pathways, some of which take our best players away from the field of play when we need them, so we have to come up with some kind of arrangement when we have our best players at all times to play for West Indies.”

Hosting the event was one of the decisions arising from the 46th regular meeting of the CARICOM heads of government last February in Guyana.