St John’s, Antigua – The West Indies Cricket Board announces that it has concluded an agreement with Barbados-based Verus International to launch a professional franchise-based Twenty20 league in the Caribbean starting in 2013.

The league will provide financial benefits for participating players with the majority of players being West Indian. In addition, as part of the arrangement, WICB will receive annual funding for new retainer contracts for regional players (above and beyond the 20 Central Annual Retainer Contracts currently offered by the WICB).

President of the WICB, Dr. Julian Hunte commented: “The West Indies Cricket Board is elated to announce the league, which will bring a host of benefits to players and West Indies Cricket in general.”

“A significant number of players at the regional level will benefit through greater financial stability both from playing in the league and from year-round retainer contracts while having an international platform on which to showcase their skills and talent,” Dr. Hunte added.

“Most importantly is that the league will bring a huge financial injection into the Caribbean and create significant job opportunities across the region in a wide cross section of sectors,” Dr. Hunte outlined.

Chairman and CEO of Verus International, Mr. Ajmal Khan stated: “We are absolutely delighted to partner with the WICB to launch the Twenty20 league and contribute to the historic tradition and success of West Indian cricket. We believe that the recently won ICC World Twenty20 is a testament to the quality and excitement of West Indies cricket. We intend to utilize the Twenty20 league to further develop and strengthen West Indies cricket by expanding the global fan base as well as the number of West Indian cricketers under regional retainer contracts. We look forward to showcasing the talent and beauty of the Caribbean.”

The league is expected to comprise of up to six privately owned Caribbean city-based teams.  All matches in the league will be televised throughout the Caribbean and across the globe, allowing for wide exposure of participating players.

Verus will host a media conference early next week in Barbados to provide more information on the league.

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