Image courtesy of: Barbados Today
“T20 offers the financial means to ply your trade and make a living”
With the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) having been a huge success and unearthing some outstanding young talents, West Indies legend Desmond Haynes announced that “if I had T20 cricket to play in my day, I’d have jumped at it”.
Haynes, who coached the Barbados Tridents franchise throughout the inaugural edition of the tournament, also threw his support behind Twenty20 cricket, stating that younger players learn by squaring off against some of the best names in the world, while at the same time, they rack up a hefty financial reward.
“People focus too much on the cons and negatives but how many people look at the positives (of T20s)? This needs to come out more,” Haynes said. “If I had T20 cricket to play in my day, I’d have jumped at it. Do you know how hard it was to earn a living back in my day? You had to travel all over the world to earn a living outside the international game. A lot of cricketers didn’t get the chance to see their families often and to see their kids grow up. T20 offers the financial means to ply your trade and make a living, especially for younger players.
“While young players train for ODIs and Tests, they get the chance to play in T20 tournaments and land sponsors, money for tools and gears…and the stability for their futures, on and off the field. T20 helps settle a player’s career in ways we, the old guard, never experienced.”
However, Haynes also noted that in order for the growing number of domestic Twenty20 tournaments to be a huge success, the respective cricket boards hosting the event have to create a window for it in order to attract the game’s biggest names.
Haynes was also pleased to have been given the opportunity to coach the Tridents and work alongside some exceptional young players.
“Seasoned veterans like myself, Andy (Roberts), Gordon (Greenidge) and (Curtly) Ambrose also get to coach in something like the CPL and help develop the game with the youngsters,” he added. “It’s a great opportunity to get old players, young ones and international players mingling and learning from each other.
“Everyone, or most people, love T20. You’ve got to have the passion back in the stands and crowds at the games. Look at how things are happening here in the Caribbean again. People are flocking to back their franchises. Everyone’s backing each other, no matter where you’re from. It adds unity to the Caribbean and it’s doing us a lot of good. This is a great thing for Windies cricket. The atmosphere with the fans and supporters show this right now.”