Cool & Smooth T20 opens to star-studded cast, players urged to reach for the stars

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President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Dave Cameron, has urged players competing in the 2017 edition of the Cool & Smooth T20 Explosion to set their sights on playing professionally at the highest level.
The administrator was, at the time, addressing the opening of the lucrative tournament at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground on Sunday. The Jamaican took the opportunity to remind players that although the T20 version has rapidly grown over the years, the real money is made in other versions of the game.
“There is a view that if you are a T20 cricketer that you are going to make money but that’s not so. The West Indies cricketers who are playing Test cricket and playing ODI cricket are actually doing much better than those who are trying to ply their trade all over the world playing T20,” he said.
“When you get a contract outside of the West Indies cricket, you have to pay your agent 20 percent, you have to pay taxes and so you have the opportunity. Our International players are making a minimum of US $100,000.00 to play cricket for the West Indies and if you are a franchise player for Leeward Islands cricket, you’re making $18,000.00 without batting, fielding or bowling a ball,” he added.
The country’s Minister of Sports, EP Chet Greene, also sought to encourage the players, reminding them that only hard work and commitment to their craft will bring them the success they desire.
“It occurs to me that this is not an ordinary competition, it occurs to me that people are here looking for talent. It also occurs to me that we have not been delivering the talent expected or that people have become accustomed to for Antigua & Barbuda and so I don’t just want to be seeing cricket being played for the coming weeks,” the Minister said.
“I want to see and hear that you are practising, that you are training, that you have your eyes set on making the ultimate, the West Indies cricket team. For those of you who are inclined to play professionally, I want to see you take the game seriously. Take this tournament as a stepping stone,” he added.
Meanwhile, President of the Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Leon Rodney, encouraged players to live up to their own expectations and to the expectation of the sponsors, Cool & Smooth and also to their fans.
“As you know and as we continue to redevelop and organize the cricket, it is very important that you the players (play to a high
standard) because it is all about you, and I hope
that … we will have some exceptional performances that we can continue to show that you really want the game because again, it’s all about you [the players],” he said.
Legendary fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, bowled the first ball – to open the tournament on Sunday – to his former captain and legendary batsman, Sir Vivian Richards, an exercise that was well appreciated by the many players and spectators present at the facility.
The winning team is set to take home a $20,000.00 cash prize. The Liberta Blackhawks are the defending champions.

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