"--IANS/CMC"
St. John's -, May 14 - The Caribbean Premier League - will contribute $360,000 towards the annual retainer contracts for First Class players, the West Indies Cricket Board - announced.

The announcement Tuesday follows a WICB meeting in March which approved a 19-point plan for the professionalisation of First Class cricket in the Caribbean, starting next season, reports CMC.

The professionalisation of First Class cricket in the Caribbean is long overdue and finally we have taken a firm decision to realize this, said WICB CEO Michael Muirhead.

It will be a costly venture but one which is absolutely necessary for West Indies cricket to move forward. We are exceedingly grateful to the CPL for this significant commitment towards the funding of these annual First Class contracts.

Fifteen players in each of the six territories will be contracted on a full time, year round basis.

This means 90 First Class players will be given annual contracts joining those contracted under WICB Annual Retainer Contracts.

A fundamental part of CPL is securing the future of cricket in the Caribbean by creating a platform for the next generation of stars to showcase their talent to a global audience, said CEO of the CPL, Damien O'Donohoe.

Our partners at WICB are working towards getting West Indies cricket back to the top across all forms of the game and we at CPL will endeavour to play our part in that mission.

Under the new Professional First Class structure the contracts will see players being part of a First Class Franchise system, the details of which are expected to be made public soon.

--IANS/CMC

sr/vt


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