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Monday, September 7, 2009

Big-money cricket coming - Multimillion dollar league being planned for region

Wealthy investors are planning to mount a lucrative professional league in the Caribbean, which could see US$200 million invested over a five-year period.

A source with knowledge of the plans said the league, which could come on stream from as early as next year, would offer regional players cash-rich contracts and involve teams from all the major cricket territories in the region.

"A wealthy foreign investor is planning to come on board and assist the regional cricketers financially by putting in large sums of money," the official said.

"A number of smaller investors have come on board and they are now at a point where they can fund a professional league for five years.

"The organisers are expected to have four-day cricket, 50-over tournaments as well as the popular Twenty20 tournaments."

He said over 120 cricketers, including foreign players, would be offered five-year contracts to play for teams that are also expected to come from the United States and Canada.

The source pointed out, however, that the league was likely to pose problem with the players' availability for regional cricket and West Indies duty.

A plan is also being formulated that would see some of the profits from the tournament being reinvested in youth cricket and even women's cricket.

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