The Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) has no objections to recommendations that the country’s lone T20 tournament, the Cool & Smooth T20 Explosion, is reduced from 10 to eight teams this year.
President of the organisation and former national coach, Leon Rodney believes the move could benefit both the organisers and spectators.
“From an organising standpoint it’s going to be easier for you because you are going to go from 8 to 4 and then 2, but when you have 10 teams you are going to have somebody getting a bye here, or you have somebody lose but still have to play in order to make it up, so we didn’t have a problem with it,” he said.
Champions Liberta Blackhawks, All Saints, Bethesda, Jennings, Bolans, Rising Sun, Empire, New Winthorpes, Pigotts Crushers and Montserrat all competed in the 2017 instalment of the Cool & Smooth T20 Explosion.
The cricket association’s suggestion, according to Rodney, is to cut the teams that would have under- preformed during last year’s tournament.
“They were suggesting to us that they want to cut it to eight teams and that we should choose the eight teams, but as we discussed it we said to them that they have an easy way to get to eight teams. If you want to cut it to eight all you have to do is eliminate the two bottom placed teams. Going forward, what we will have or what we can do, is that, in order for you to make the Cool & Smooth T20, you may hear that you have to come in the first eight in the Super 40,” the cricket boss said.
At least one caller to Observer Radio’s Good Morning Jojo Sports Show earlier this week, disagreed with the suggestion of reducing the tournament to 8 teams, arguing that it would rob some players of an opportunity to hone their skills in that format of the game.
Suggestions were that the ABCA should consider hosting a separate T20 tournament in which all teams would compete.
Rodney however disagreed, stating that the association is very much involved with the running of the tournament and that it plays a huge role in team selection.
“Our selectors have to look at the Cool & Smooth 20/20 tournament just in case we need a 20/20 team, and somebody may shine more than how they may do in the Super 40 because these days there are different formats of cricket and you may see somebody in the Cool & Smooth 20/20 that can become a special 20/20 player,” he said.
This year’s tournament is slated to run from 14-28 May at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.