St. John's, Antigua: Julian Hunte, president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), has described 2012 as a watershed year in West Indies cricket. Hunte said West Indies cricket is better positioned for the rest of the decade on many fronts and pointed to what he termed as number of historic events in the year.
"Most significant is that the West Indies team won the ICC World Twenty20 Tournament and are World champions again after a period of drought," Hunte noted. "We must recognise and hail the efforts of (captain) Darren Sammy and (coach) Ottis Gibson, along with team manager Richie Richardson and the senior players in particular."
Hunte said a Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be launched during 2013 and the board has also secured a major television rights deal with TAJ TV. WICB has also managed to increase the number of central retainer contracts from 15 to 20, while a large pool of regional players are set to start receiving regional retainer contracts from 2013 as part of the licensing agreement with Verus International for the CPL.
"Our women's team continues to build from strength to strength and are now ready to move into the upper echelons of the women's international rankings," said Hunte. "Stafanie Taylor was confirmed as the leading player in women's cricket after she won the ICC Women's Player-of-the-Year award and now stands alongside Anisa Mohammed, Shanel Daley, Merissa Aguileira and Deandra Dottin as some of the finest female cricketers in the world."
The WICB president further said the developmental programmes, ranging from the Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket to the Sagicor High Performance Cenre, were also stronger. "We have completed the full circle of the foundations of development, it is now for us to remain on course, put in the hard work and reap the rewards and benefits which will follow,"
Hunte said. "We have seen players graduate to the international stage and proven themselves, and we continue to see a host of talent who are successful on the regional scene and who we are confident will step up when the opportunities are provided to them."