St John’s, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board is preparing to launch a Player Lifestyle Development (PLD) programme which will be geared towards developing well rounded cricketers at all levels.
“The PLD programme is an exciting initiative for the WICB as it focuses is on ensuring that players, especially the younger players will be able to play cricket without compromising their education,” said WICB Player Relations Officer Ayana Cooper.
“We haven’t always taken into serious account the lifestyle aspect of the development of players and what the PLD programme will do is assist in bringing balance to the all round development of our players,” Cooper added.
“This programme is especially important as with three formats of the game being played at the international level we have more players both men and women representing the West Indies and this will only continue when you look at the packed ICC Future Tours Programme,” Cooper noted.
“In addition we have several West Indian players representing the region on the world stage and they are all ambassadors for West Indies cricket,” Cooper explained.
The PLD programme will comprise three main elements:
i) Personal and Professional Development
ii) Education and Training
iii) Career Development
Personal and Professional Development is geared at assisting players in balancing cricket with the other critical aspects of modern professional sport. Players will benefit from training in various areas including media skills, nutrition, etiquette and how to be an ambassador among other topics.
The Personal and Professional Development component will be mandatory for all regional First Class and WICB contracted cricketers along with Under 19 and Under 15 players. It will also be available for all international players on a voluntary basis.
The Education and Training component of the programme is aimed at ensuring that all players, but especially the younger players, have a solid educational base.
The Career Development component is designed with the senior players in mind and will provide support in preparing for life after cricket.
“The players response to the WICB Player Relations Programme and overall interaction with players have improved significantly over the past year. The players are now more willing and comfortable in coming forward and engaging with the WICB to express their own thoughts on how the WICB can assist them in developing as players and as individuals,” Cooper added.
“It is now time, as the governing body for cricket in the West Indies, for us to implement a more structured programme given the demand from the players and because we have to ensure that we have a system in place for players to develop in every way, on and off the field,” Cooper said.
Cooper has already coordinated Personal and Professional Development workshops for all WICB preparatory camps for men and women cricketers, Under 15 and Under 19 tournaments along with select senior team tournaments.
The WICB funded PLD will be an on-going year round programme and is the next step to the workshops.