Cayman Islands cricketers who join the Stanford 20/20 pro league could share a US$1 million team prize if they end up winning the competition’s knockout competition in February.
Players with an interest in becoming full-time professionals flocked to the Truman Bodden Sports Complex on Monday to hear a presentation by legendary former West Indies bowler Reverend Wesley Hall.
He had a meeting with Minister of Sport Alden McLaughlin that morning to tie up arrangements and made it all public in his own inimitable oratory style to a mesmerized audience.
The prize money is the biggest in domestic cricket anywhere in the world with US$1 million going to the winning team and half that to the runner up. On 1 November pro teams will be established in Nevis, Cayman Islands, Anguilla, Montserrat, US Virgin Islands and St Lucia.
The Antigua-based Texan billionaire Allen Stanford is investing $100 million in this project over the next three years. The 2008 international tournament begins on 25 January until 24 February and will include teams from Australia, England, South Africa and all the other major cricketing countries competing.
The pro league will be the second year of staging the competition. Some Caymanian players were involved in the inaugural staging of it last year and enjoyed top class facilities.
Hall said: ‘The Stanford-backed Cayman team will not be the national side but players will still be able to represent the Cayman Islands if they so wish. Ian Bishop, the former West Indies Test bowler is going to be based here and I will be coming back with Joel ‘Big Bird’ Garner to oversee things.
‘Over the weekend of 25-26 August 30 Cayman players will be invited to trials and 16 will be selected for the squad and inter-island matches will commence soon after.’ The inter-island winners will then get to compete against the international teams for big money in January.