NATIONAL player Stephen Katwaroo has made it clear that players need more competitions like the inaugural UWI World Universities T20 Cricket Tournament starting today if local cricket is to remain sustainable.
Katwaroo, a well-travelled wicketkeeper/batsman, will be part of the UWI team that will be competing against Regional Super 50 champions Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), Tertiary Sport Association of TT (TSATT), Oxford Marylebone Cricket Club University from England, and the USA Combined Universities. He indicated that the international flair from Oxford and the exposure players can get outside of the domestic season is priceless, especially with so many youngsters hoping for a dream call-up to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
“This tournament is something new and it’s really good because it gives local and regional players a chance to show what we can do. It’s competitive, offers us good experience but more importantly, it provides a chance to play more cricket,” Katwaroo said. “In Trinidad and the West Indies, we don’t play enough cricket and then you wonder why more teams on the international level are doing better. They have more experience. The TTCB needs to do something about it so when domestic cricket ends in May, we have matches to play for the rest of the year. We play less and to have this kind of competition before National League cricket starts is a great plan,” the Alescon Comets player added. He divulged that this approach would also benefit national players when regional West Indian cricket starts at the end of every year.
“We hardly have tournaments to showcase our talent and mark my words, in such a little tournament, you’d be surprised to see the players that will emerge. This is another opportunity for us who want more cricket across the board – from T20 to 50-over cricket,” he lamented.
Katwaroo revealed that this initiative, which will push its five top players into CPL pre-tournament camps, is essential because the CPL draft itself limits players from making it to franchises. He pointed out that there are less opportunities since the Caribbean T20 became extinct, and now with big-name players and international names cannibalising CPL slots, cricketers like him need every opportunity they can get.
“I played for two years for Guyana Amazon Warriors and didn’t get a look in. It was unfair and after that I was dropped. So a tournament like this personally gives me the drive to be one of the players that could make it into a CPL camp,” Katwaroo concluded.
CCC vs. Oxford (2 pm)
UWI vs. TSATT (6.30 pm)
TSATT vs. Oxford (2 pm)
CCC vs. USA (6.30 pm)
All matches will be open to members of the public. Tickets available at the gates for $25.