Hooper, Gayle for St Lucia’s Double Wicket World Cup
By Ezra Stuart
Guyana Chronicle
February 6, 2003

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CASTRIES - Captain Carl Hooper and dashing opening batsman Chris Gayle will wear the West Indies colours when the historic Double Wicket World Cup makes its debut at the ultra-modern Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia, April 4-6.

This was revealed yesterday at a press conference when the St Lucia Tourist Board, in conjunction with the St Lucia Cricket Association unveiled plans for the inaugural international event, which is offering US$175 000 in prize money.

The event, which was launched simultaneously in St Lucia and London, will involve some of the world’s best cricketers from the eight ICC Test-playing countries.

Pakistan will be represented by their long-serving all-rounder and former captain Wasim Akram and the pugnacious Shahid Afridi, but officials said most of the other Test nations have not yet named their representatives.

However, organisers revealed that Sri Lanka’s veteran batsman Aravinda de Silva, South Africa’s experienced fast bowler Allan Donald and former England One-Day captain Adam Hollioake have been confirmed to play.

The event, the first of its kind to be staged in the Caribbean, offers a first prize of US$65 000 with the runners-up receiving US$30 000 and the losing semifinalists US$20 000. All the other participating teams will be given consolation prizes of US$10 000.

The Double Wicket event, which was conceptualised by the St Lucia Tourist Board, will be played as a round-robin tournament with two four-team groups opposing each other.

Each of the 12 Group matches will be played as eight over-a-side contests while the two semifinals will be contested over 10 overs with 12 overs per side for the grand final.

Groupings will be drawn on March 4 and all matches will be played at the Beausejour Cricket Ground, which hosted back-to-back One-Day Internationals between the West Indies and New Zealand last June 8 and 9.

In announcing that the event will be held annually for the next ten years, chairman of the St Lucia Tourist Board, Desmond Skeete, said the country is “pleased to welcome some of the world’s leading cricketers to St Lucia."

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