A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: West Indies regional T20 tournament to undergo format changes

Trinidad and Tobago are the team to beat in this year’s tournament

The West Indies regional Twenty20 tournament is set to undergo some major changes before it gets underway on January 6 2013.

Every team will now play six preliminary matches instead of four and all seven regional teams will face off against each another just once, and the team with the most points after all the matches have been concluded will automatically qualify for the finals.

The other finalist spot will be decided by a match between the teams in second and third on the rankings.

Whichever team ends up winning the tournament will not only be crowned champion for that year, but will also earn a spot in next year’s Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20).

The first match of the tournament will be between Trinidad and Tobago, who are the defending champions, and Jamaica at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.

The final of the tournament is scheduled to be played on January 20 in St. Lucia.

WICB cricket operations manager Roland Holder said: “This format will allow the regional teams to increase the number of matches in a form of the game that has become very popular around the world, and of which we are now world champions.”

In the previous editions of the tournament, the seven regional sides would compete with three international squads.

The ten teams would be separated into two groups and each side would play four games before the knockout stage came into effect.

The schedule for the ODI tournament has also changed, with matches now set more further apart from each other in order to reduce the risk of games being abandoned due to bad weather.

The regional Super50 tournament is set to begin on February 7 2013, while the four-day matches would follow a few days after.

Last year’s Super50 tournament was held from October 19 to 29, which saw three games abandoned and three more had the number of overs reduced due to heavy rain.

The four-day matches ran from February to April last year and did so without too much interference from the weather.

“In the last two or three seasons, by virtue of us playing the Regional Super50 in October/November, we have had several matches rained out, we were in an unwelcome situation where a team made it into the semi-finals having played one match, which severely affected the competitiveness of the tournament,” Holder said.

Teams will also now be allowed to change their squads between any 50 over and four-day match.

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