The WCL season is a about two and a half months away, pre-season games and tournament less than 2 months away — with the Zolon Invitational Tournament looking to take place in early April (based on field preparation and permits).  

Several WCL members have been looking for information about the makeup of the PD and D1. The biggest variable was Kensington’s decision to rejoin the league. It can now be reported that Kensington is officially back in the league. It is my understanding that the club is putting together a very competitive team with a good mix of their former players and some high quality new players. Juicy, Chris Vantul, Renardo Francis, Junaid Rasheed headline the roster along with new, high quality, arrivals from Jamaica and Guyana. Veterans such as Hayon Russel and others are also there to help guide the team. Look for good things from this team this year.  

The 12 teams representing the PD are as follows: Virginia, Tigers, Boyds, Cosmos, Nitro, AFCA, Titans, Vikings, Dulles, Kensington, UMBC and Zolon.  

I’m sure Shoaib Ahmed will provide his pre-season power rankings but here is my pre pre-season rankings. I will not rank teams but will group them (there is no ranking within the level). 

Level 1: Virginia, Tigers, Titans, Vikings, Kensington, Dulles, Boyds

Level 2: Cosmos, UMBC, Nitro, AFCA, Zolon

 I wasn’t sure if Kensington deserves a spot on the top line, since there will be quite a few new faces in this team. However, I gave the benefit of doubt based on their past record. All teams at Level 2 have a lot to prove and can’t be moved to the top line until they prove it on the field.

 Based on my sources, the league has a pleasant surprise for D1 teams. No teams are being demoted and the number of teams is being increased from 12 to 14. The 14 teams are: ICC, Baltimore, Sri Lankan, Pakistan, CCC, Elite, Fairfax, Jamaica, Metro, Potomac, Star, Taurids, Toucans, Urbana.

This is where I will disagree with the league. I believe when a team or teams have a very poor season, they should be demoted. I’m not sure why a team should be rewarded with another chance of playing in a higher division when so many teams, with great records, in the lower division are fighting for a chance to move up. I would have demoted the bottom team from D1 to D2 and given Windies, which had a very good year in D2, an opportunity to compete in D1. Jamaica won only one game last year. Wouldn’t this team be better suited for D2? Conversely, Windies won 10+ games and would have probably given a good representation in D1. In this case, the league executives and I disagree philosophically.  

It is very difficult to rank the D1 teams as there is little difference between a lot of these teams. But here is my best guess (with Sri Lankan as the prohibitive favorite to win the Division):  

Level 1: Sri Lankan, Pakistan, Urbana, Baltimore, CCC, ICC

Level 2: Elite, Fairfax, Jamaica, Metro, Potomac, Star, Taurids, Toucans

 Although Star was a playoff team last year, the word is that several key players are leaving the team. Kamran has already joined Tigers and there is a very strong possibility of DeeJay Jaan and his entourage of Mikey, Gregory, Deonath, Kevil George moving to ICC. If that happens, Star will need to find replacements, which the team is very capable of doing but I can’t place the team at level 1 (right now) due to the uncertainty.

Division 2 will consist of the remaining 12 teams, plus two new teams that are yet to be determined. Should make for a compelling group with Windies as the clear favorite to win this Division.

 The format: 

My sources (multiple) tell me that this year, there will be seven t-20 games (that’s an increase from last year) and there will be thirteen 40 over games per team (also an increase). For PD, there will be 6 teams in each conference and everyone plays everyone plus everyone across. This makes for 11 games. The other two games for each team will be 1) against the team at the same ranking across conference and 2) against one team within the conference. So a team ranked as #1 in Jefferson will play the team ranked #1 in Lincoln twice, and will play the tean ranked #6 within the conference twice. Similarly, #2 ranked team will play #2 ranked team across conference twice and will also play the #5 ranked team twice within the conference. This will make for the 13 game schedule for all teams.  

For D1 and D2, it’s a much more straight forward format. Everyone plays everyone once for a total of 13 games. These divisions too will have 7 t20 games.  

There is an exciting tournament in the works for night cricket, but since things have not been finalized, the league sources are not at liberty to disclose information. Let’s hope that tournament gets finalized soon.  

That’s all I have for now. Hopefully, it has wet your appetite for the season.


 

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