Port-of-Spain, Trinidad - The West Indies Cricket Board has taken the bold step to change the format for the Caribbean T20 tournament – and the new set-up will see more matches and more exposure for the region’s players.

The heavy roller being used on the pitch at Queen's Park Oval, one of the venue for the tournament. WICB Media Photo

Roland Holder, the WICB’s Manager of Cricket Operations, outlined that there will be several benefits to the game with the change of format, which has been extended from group matches to round-robin fixtures. This year, the tournament will get going with a grand opening ceremony at Queen’s Park Oval at 4 pm (3 pm Jamaica Time).

“Previously we had ten teams, including three visiting teams, for the Caribbean T20 tournament. The teams were split into two groups and played four matches each in the group stage of the. We had a review of the three previous tournaments in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and the decision was taken to stick to the seven regional teams,” Holder said.

“We re-examined the format and came up with what we are sure will benefit all the players and all the teams in the Caribbean T20 2013. We now have a round-robin format – which provides more cricket and is something the players and territorial boards have called for. This is sure to be a win-win as the players will have more matches and the fans will be able to witness more action on the field.”

Holder, a former Barbados captain and West Indies batsman who played 11 Test matches, noted that teams will have a lot more to play for and early defeats would not condemn a team to an early exit.

“In previous years you had a situation where if a team lost two of their first two matches, they faced the exit door quite early. This is unlikely to be the case in this tournament. If you lose early you still have a chance to rebound and compete in the tournament. We will also have a play-off on the final weekend before the Grand Final,” Holder said.

“This is also a new concept and we expect to see teams battling hard for the play-off spots. The Caribbean T20 has been a truly magnificent tournament for the players and the fans. At the WICB we constantly look at ways to improve conditions for our players, our match officials and all our stakeholders. We believe the new format for this year’s event will please everyone.”

The first match in the Caribbean T20 is Sunday with a showdown between defending champions Trinidad and Tobago and last year’s losing finalists Jamaica at Queen’s Park Oval. Matches will be played in Trinidad from Sunday to Saturday, January 12. The tournament then moves to St Lucia for the second phase at Beausejour Cricket Stadium from Tuesday, January 15 to Sunday, January 20.

FULL SQUADS
Barbados: Dwayne Smith (Captain), Shamarh Brooks (Vice Captain), Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Carlos Brathwaite, Justin Brathwaite, , Jonathan Carter, Rolston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Fidel Edwards, Ryan Hinds, Kyle Mayers, Ashley Nurse, Javon Searles,.

Combined Campuses and Colleges: Kyle Corbin (Captain), Sunil Ambris, Ryan Austin, Derone Davis, Akeem Dewar, Jason Holder, Kevin McClean, Wayne Morgan, Kristopher Ramsaran, Floyd Reifer, Raymon Reifer, Chadwick Walton, Ryan Wiggins, Kesrick Williams.

Guyana: Veerasammy Permaul (Captain), Christopher Barnwell (Vice Captain), Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Derwin Christian, Royston Crandon, Narsingh Deonarine, Jonathan Foo, Trevon Griffith, Steven Jacobs, Leon Johnson, Rajiv Ivan, Ramnaresh Sarwan.

Jamaica: Tamar Lambert (Captain), David Bernard Jr. (Vice Captain) Nkrumah Bonner, Odean Brown, John Campbell, Sheldon Cotterell, Yannick Elliott, Danza Hyatt, Andre McCarthy, Jamie Merchant, Nikita Miller, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Aldane Thomas.

Leeward Islands: Sylvester Joseph (Captain), Kieran Powell (Vice Captain), Justin Athanaze, Shane Burton, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Chesney Hughes, Javia Liburd, Anthony Martin, Lyndel Richardson, Gavin Tonge, Devon Thomas, Kelbert Walters, Tonito Willett.

Trinidad and Tobago: Denesh Ramdin (Captain), Darren Bravo (Vice Captain), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Yannick Ottley, Evin Lewis, William Perkins, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons.

Windward Islands: Darren Sammy (Captain), Miles Bascombe, Tade Carmichael, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Lyndon James, Delorn Johnson, Keddy Lesporis, Garey Mathurin, Kenroy Peters, Nelon Pascal, Liam Sebastien, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith.

FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
(AT QUEEN’S PARK OVAL, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad)
Sunday, January 6
Opening Ceremony – 4 p.m.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Jamaica – 8 p.m.
Monday, January 7
Barbados vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m.
Guyana vs Combined Campuses & Colleges – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, January 8
Jamaica vs Barbados – 4 p.m.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Combined Campuses & Colleges – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9
Windward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Leeward Islands – 8 p.m.
Thursday, January 10
Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Windward Islands – 4 p.m.
Guyana vs Barbados – 8 p.m.
Friday, January 11
Leeward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.
Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Barbados – 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 12
Windward Islands vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m.
Trinidad & Tobago vs Guyana – 8 p.m.

(AT BEAUSEJOUR CRICKET GROUND, Gros Islet, St. Lucia)
Tuesday, January 15
Guyana vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.
Windward Islands vs Trinidad & Tobago – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, January 16
Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m.
Barbados vs Trinidad & Tobago – 8 p.m.
Thursday, January 17
Leeward Islands vs Guyana – 4 p.m.
Windward Islands vs Barbados – 8 p.m.
Friday, January 18
Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.
Windward Islands vs Guyana – 8 p.m.
Saturday, January 19
Play-off: 2nd Place vs 3rd Place – 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 20
Grand Final: 1st Place vs Winner of Play-off – 8 p.m.