PORT OF SPAIN – Trinidad and Tobago cricketers are in their best position to lift the 2013 Champions League T20 trophy, the battle for which has already started with the qualifying rounds in India.
The Red Force left home on Monday via London, England on British Airways in an attempt to go one better than in 2009 when they stunned the cricket world by reaching the final of the tournament.
This time there is more reason for optimism as the team led by wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin is well prepared and psychologically in a better frame of mind for the biggest international club/nation T20 tournament in the world.
The 15-man team left for India without any contractual wrangling for the first time in their four Champions League T20 appearances.
In 2009, when the TTCB was headed by Deryck Murray, there was the public threat of sending a replacement team because of West Indies Players Association/TTCB off-field squabbles.
Similar controversial conditions stole the headlines when the Red Force departed in 2011 and 2012, with the players and the local governing body clashing.
This year, however, West Indies legend Brian Lara has not only publicly stated that he likes the team’s chances, but is also on board accompanying the cricketers.
Manager Omar Khan, the most successful in local cricket history, spoke of “all matters being sorted out” as well as a team that is “united and focused.”
Noticeably, he was impressed with the team’s preparation and thanked the local board for all the support they had provided to ensure there was a smooth build-up to the team’s departure for India.
The TTCB believed this year was different from years past and “perhaps lies in the more mature and balanced approach of the present players’ union, now led by Wavell Hinds the former Jamaican and West Indies player.”
The talks resulted in each player selected for the upcoming Champion League T20 receiving approximately $215,000 as a guaranteed payment, almost 50 percent more than each got last year.
The important developments took place without major disagreements and it is understood that each player was given a written breakdown of his CL T20 remuneration, including what might also accrue to each, as the team progressed in the tournament. (windiescricket)