News Releases

The UWI Celebrates 10th Anniversary of CCC Participation in Regional First-Class Cricket

For Release Upon Receipt - February 17, 2017


The Combined Campuses & Colleges (CCC) Marooners celebrate 10 years of first-class cricket this year. Keeping the vision of Sir Frank Worrell alive, the CCC is the place where student athletes are no longer required to choose between sport and academics, but are welcomed and encouraged to do both. With sound leadership from the coaches, to the support staff, the team has improved and grown to the point where it can compete among the top teams in the tournament.

Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) said that the loss of the Frank Worrell trophy to Australia in 1995 triggered the beginning of the collapse of West Indies international competitiveness. The University of the West Indies went to work immediately to find a strategy that would contribute to its revival. At the time Vice-Chancellor Beckles was Sports Coordinator at the Cave Hill Campus and led the charge with six initiatives:

1.     Establishing the Centre for Cricket Research at Cave Hill, teaching degree programmes in cricket studies;

2.     Creating The UWI Vice-Chancellor's XI Cricket Match;

3.     Seeking The UWI's participation in First Division Cricket in campus countries;

4.     Serving on the West Indies Cricket Board;

5.     Establishing the Combined Campuses and Colleges Team;

6.     Finally, establishing the WICB/Sagicor/The UWI High Performance Centre.

According to Vice-Chancellor Beckles “These projects were launched to send a clear message to West Indian society; that the loss of the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy was not the loss of his philosophy, which was that cricketers should have the highest level of political awareness and social commitment to West Indian nationhood."

The vision of Sir Frank Worrell is clearly articulated: Young men should be given a chance to further their education while pursuing professional cricket. Vice-Chancellor Beckles chose Head Coach, Floyd Reifer to execute this vision. Reifer was tasked with finding the best student athletes from tertiary institutions around the Caribbean; that included University of Technology in Jamaica, GC Foster College in Jamaica, Mico College in Jamaica, the St Vincent Technical College, the University of Trinidad and Tobago, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Community College, and the four campuses of The UWI – St. Augustine, Mona, Cave Hill and the Open Campus. 

The next step was to assemble the CCC team which essentially operated similar to the West Indies Cricket Team’s programme where it drew from players around the region.  Thus the myth of it being a second string Barbados team is completely inaccurate as it has had as many as eight Jamaicans on the team at one time. It is not about the country one comes from; players, coaches and support staff are selected from across the region based on merit and competence, not nationality. 

The administration understood that being a student athlete was not an easy task and to be playing at the first-class and/or international level only added to the difficulty. Thus the programme worked around the student’s timetable while striving to get the players to a certain standard. The necessary support structures were put in place to give the athlete every possible opportunity to succeed.

When the programme began, the goal was to have a player from the CCC programme selected for the West Indies Test Team. CCC entered the regional competition in 2007/2008 and faced off against Barbados at Kensington Oval in October 2007. The first team comprised of Romel Currency, Simon Jackson, Kurt Wilkinson, Floyd Reifer, Nekoli Parris, Chadwick Walton, Shirley Clarke, Jowyane Robinson, Jason Bennett, Kavesh Kantasingh and Jamal Noel. 

This team reached the semi-finals of the Regional 50 Over Competition in 2009 and in 2011 showed that they belonged and were not just there to make up numbers when they made it to the Regional Final to face Jamaica at the 3Ws Oval in the four-day match. The only developmental team left in the region, Head Coach Floyd Reifer points out that it sees itself as helping to improve cricket in the region by developing players for the West Indies Cricket Team and regional teams.

CCC has reached its goal of having players reaching the top level West Indies Test side and now can boast of having the West Indies captain in Jason Holder and the T20 Captain in Carlos Brathwaite all graduates of the CCC programme. There have been a number of student athletes who have also gone on to represent the West Indies in Test matches team, One Day Internationals as well as team T20. Some of those players include Jason Holder (Barbados), Carlos Brathwaite (Barbados), Chadwick Walton (Jamaica), Rovman Powell (Jamaica), Miles Bascombe (St. Vincent) and Omar Phillips (Barbados).

Having players constantly graduating to regional territorial and West Indies teams has presented a challenge to the CCC project as it is continuously filling its ranks with debutantes. This has resulted in continuous rebuilding which could affect the degree of competitiveness on an annual basis. Nevertheless, the team’s purpose is clear and its strategies are sound as it continues to provide a pool of talented players for territorial and West Indies selectors.

There have been some stumbling blocks along the way where people saw the CCC team as taking players from the territories or competing for the same complement of players. Reifer pointed out that this was never the intention. As the CCC programme enhanced the skills of the players who were on the fringes of their territorial teams, the players moved from not being on the selectors’ radar to being attractive, prime candidates for national selection. 

As the CCC programme celebrates 10 years in regional cricket, the programme seeks to take cricket to another level. Now in the modern era of the game, the CCC has incorporated sports science into its programme with the establishment of the SAGICOR UWI Sports Science Labs for Biomechanics and Exercise Physiology. The programme has also embraced mental skills training in a major way and has engaged the services of David Scott, Sports Psychologist, from the University of New Brunswick in Canada. At any elite level the mental performance is just as important as the physical side and the CCC has understood that.

As Vice-Chancellor Beckles states “The UWI has done its part, and will continue to do so. It is dedicated to creating a new cadre of cricketers within the Worrell tradition who will restore the pride and performance of West Indies cricket”.



About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in BarbadosJamaicaTrinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)