By VINODE MAMCHAN
At the end of a disappointing International Cricket Council (ICC) World T20 campaign in the United Arab Emirates, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard made a call for a second regional T20 tournament in addition to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 so that more players can be unearthed.
His thinking was along similar lines to the concept of the Stanford T20 tournament which brought many new players to the fore. The CPL because of its competitive nature brings only the same cadre of top players every year plus a number of international players.
Colin Borde the most successful manager in the history of the CPL with four titles (T&T Red Steel and Trinbago Knight Riders) believes that the US Open T20 can fit the bill in terms of what Pollard wants. Borde who will be managing the US All Stars at the tournament which gets going from December 6 to 13 at Central Broward said: “This tournament could well fit the bill with what Pollard is speaking about. Here a number of West Indians who are not getting opportunities at the CPL are getting to showcase their talent and who knows where it can take them. Last year for instance young Leonardo Julien did well at the tournament and was picked up to play in Abu Dhabi.
“The US Open T20 tournament provides opportunities to converse about lifestyles with players from different countries. Our West Indian players get another opportunity to see different approaches to training and strategic thinking. There’s an opportunity for the players to experience playing with and amongst players from different cultures and backgrounds, which can only redound to their benefit.
“The US Open T20 is a platform for players to showcase their talents to agents from around the planet who are eager to see the next generation. It’s a platform for coaches, players and support staff to work and share information with a global fraternity.”
There will be 37 West Indians taking part in the league the most in any other tournament outside the CPL. Of this there will be 17 players from Trinidad and Tobago.
Borde is the only regional manager to work in North America in GT20 Franchises like
Montreal Tigers and Vancouver Knights. He was also used as a mentor to train Canadian managers in the operations of professional cricket. His experience entails working with over 150 foreign players including Jacques Kallis, Hashim Amla, Waqar Younis, David Warner, George Bailey, Lance Klusener, Brendan Mc Callum, Tom Moody and HD Ackerman.
He continued: “Cricket is an extremely fast growing sport in North America with over 2000 clubs and players from all around the world. The US Open this year will feature players from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Holland, Scotland, South Africa, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The 13th Edition of the tournament will carry prize money in range of US$100,000. The tournament is run by Cricket Council USA (CCUSA) and its chairman Mahammad Qureshi has spent over US$30M in the development of the sport in America over the past two decades.