Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dr Kishore Shallow said the regional franchise system will be revamped to better serve its objectives. Shallow made the announcement on Friday during the feature address at the Queen's Park Cricket Club's annual awards.
"There is a delegation in TT as we speak assessing the franchise system, and the plan is for them to go across the entire region and review, advise, make recommendations to the board about how we can improve," Shallow said.
The delegation is being led by CWI Director of Cricket Miles Bascombe and includes Enoch Lewis, chairman of cricket committee; Graeme West, CWI High Performance manager; and Chris Brabazon, CWI coaching manager.
Noting US$400,000 is being spent monthly on the system, Shallow said CWI needs to get value for money.
"Massive investment, so we must ensure that we get return on that investment, so there is a very important exercise taking place."
The franchise system was implemented in 2014 by former CWI boss Dave Cameron and ex-Director of Cricket Richard Pybus. Under the system, each franchise – Red Force, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Barbados Pride, Guyana Jaguars, Jamaica Scorpions and Windward Islands Volcanoes – retains 15 players who are paid monthly to work with the team's respective head coach and staff.
In the system, each franchise initially retains ten players and selects five more from a draft. Franchises must have at least two players under 25. Up to two cricketers from another regional territory can be selected. In addition, franchises can acquire the services of an international player at their own expense.
There were hopes that this professionalising of regional cricket would help produce better cricketers, a better regional standard, and translate into results for West Indies.
Shallow said changes are also being made at the CWI board level – "none more important than the shift in culture." He added, "It is a priority of mine...that we establish an environment that encourages excellence and accountability. It is imperative that we hold each other accountable."
He said mediocrity will not be accepted or celebrated.
He said the CWI, under his leadership, will continue to be more transparent.
"For the WI to continue to be a global brand and for us to have the desired results, it takes shared responsibility and common efforts from all stakeholders – barring absolutely none."
Shallow said he recently read the biography of Windies cricket legend Wesley Hall, 86, and said there are many issues still to be resolved from when the Bajan icon was president of the regional body in 2001.
"It amazes me the current relevance of his perspective on WI cricket. Quite frankly, we haven't changed much, and that's the harsh reality. From 2001, we haven't progressed much as a region in cricket."
Financial constraints, governance structure of the regional body, coaching deficiencies and inadequate facilities still plague West Indies cricket, he said.
Shallow said although the outlook may seem bleak, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
He said significant strides are being made in women's cricket including a new travel policy; increase in women retainers, to be announced soon; and more women's 'A' tours.
He said TT has been a leader in women's cricket in the region and applauded the local officials for their efforts.
He said talks are also under way for the implementation of a domestic T20 league to unearth new talents in that format.