ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC):Legendary former pacer Sir Curtly Ambrose says tweaks need to be made to the controversial eligibility rule in order to have the best players available for West Indies duty.Sir Curtly, who currently serves as a West Indies team bowling consultant, said while he appreciated the objective of the rule, the overall focus should be on ensuring that the region always fielded its best XI.”I still believe that there are a few guys out there who I believe can play the ODIs and the Test cricket but there are criteria that you have to play the first-class cricket here in the region to be selected or eligible for Test cricket, and you have to also play the regional one-day tournament to play for the ODI [team],” Ambrose said.”I can understand that because you must have some structure, but I still believe that we should be looking to get our best team.”I am not saying guys should just walk into the team willy-nilly, but if there is a situation where guys are available and we are looking to get our best team, I still believe we should get them in.”Currently, the West Indies Cricket Board requires players to make themselves available for the Regional First Class Championship in order to qualify for the Test team. Similarly, players need to play the Regional Super50 if they are to be considered for selection for ODIs.However, many of the leading players like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, AndrÈ Russell, Darren Sammy, and Sunil Narine all ply their trade in Twenty20 tournaments across the globe, often conflicting with the scheduling of Caribbean tournaments.For instance, the Australian Big Bash clashed with the Regional Super50 last January, and West Indies players opted for the T20 tournament.Weakened squadThis means that West Indies are likely to have a weakened squad for the upcoming Tri-Series in June involving South Africa and Australia.Sir Curtly, one of the finest fast bowlers the sport has seen, advocates for a better relationship between the players and administrators in order to address the many existing issues.”If you have a better relationship or a great relationship, I believe the cricket will get better because guys will go to play cricket feeling relaxed, knowing that their business off the field is being taken care of, so all they have to worry about is playing cricket,” the Antiguan said.”I honestly believe a better relationship between board and players will change our cricket and make it better.”
H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the Department of Finance, said the governor has already made education a top priority by increasing the schools budget, including more money to recruit teachers to low-performing schools, improving school nutrition and physical fitness, and restoring funds to arts and music education. “The top budget priority for this governor has been, is and will continue to be education,” Palmer said. He added that the governor has addressed environmental concerns in his growth plan by including funds to reduce pollution and improve air quality. Schwarzenegger helped write and pass Proposition 49 before he was governor, and Palmer said he has no interest in modifying or delaying funding under it. Harrison Sheppard, (916) 446-6723 email@example.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – Assembly Democrats pledged on Thursday to make education their top priority this year, vowing to shift money from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s budget and $222 billion Strategic Growth Plan while not letting election-year politics interfere with progress on issues. The Assembly’s Democratic caucus just returned from a 2-day retreat in Monterey, where they formulated strategies and responses to the governor’s plans. Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, D-Los Angeles, vowed that Democrats would not allow election-year politics to interfere with their ability to work with the Republican governor. “We also believe firmly that even though it is an election year, we want to work to improve upon the standard of living of this state,” he said. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “If that means we’re going to work closely with the governor this year to get things done and that might help him in his re-election, so be it.” Democrats said they will be looking to make school funding a greater priority in both the bond proposals and the budget. They also want to add more environmentally friendly elements to the governor’s infrastructure bond plan, and look for ways to lessen the bonds’ long-term impact on the general fund. They also plan to oppose his budget cuts to social service programs. Some Democrats also said they had concerns about the governor’s plan to fund after-school programs under Proposition 49 by $428 million and would consider looking at a ballot measure to modify the proposition. They also said they would not support a plan that makes commitments beyond two election cycles. The governor’s plan calls for $222 billion in infrastructure work over 10 years, including a series of bond measures to be placed on the ballot every two years.