Carib Beer Cup

Carib Beer Cup

The Carib Beer Cup is the current name of the first class cricket competition in the West Indies which is contested between the six teams with permanent first-class status. Four of these teams come from separate countries, while the last two are island combinations - like the West Indies, but on a smaller scale. Barbados has won the most titles, with nineteen (including one shared), while Jamaica are runners-up with seven titles. The competition is administrated by the West Indies Cricket Board.

Competing teams

* Barbados
* Guyana
* Jamaica
* Leeward Islands
* Trinidad and Tobago
* Combined Campuses and Colleges - team drawn from university and college students across the West Indies (competing in 2008)

The Leeward Islands and Windward Islands competed together from 1965–66 to 1980–81 as the Combined Islands. West Indies B also competed from 2000–01 to 2003–04, and Bangladesh A, England A, India A and Kenya have all played one season in the tournament.


First-class cricket has been played in the West Indies since 1865, when Barbados beat Demerara (in what's now Guyana) at Bridgetown. Matches were played intermittently in the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s, with Demerara being the centre - Jamaica didn't play first class games until 1895, while the first Barbados v Trinidad match took place in 1891. Because of the distances involved and travelling costs, there were only three teams in the Inter-Colonial Tournament, which began in 1891 and had 28 instalments until it was finally discontinued in 1939. All three teams, Barbados, British Guiana (now Guyana) and Trinidad won more than five times. Jamaica had first-class status, but played few games (22 in their first 30 years), though they usually played touring teams from England, and when the West Indies got Test status in 1928 that increased the amount of games played by Jamaica as well.

In the World War II years, there was no official Inter-Colonial tournament, but matches were still played between the three teams who had competed for it, and this continued after the war – but now with Jamaica joining in, too. In 1956, British Guiana hosted a four-team knock-out tournament, and this was repeated five years later but now with the Combined Islands joining in. The final unofficial tournament (which does not appear on records in Wisden Cricketers' Almanack or Cricinfo) was held in 1964, with Barbados, British Guiana, Jamaica and Trinidad competing in a league, which British Guiana won.

History of the competition

The regular competition began in the 1965–66, named the Shell Shield (after Royal Dutch Shell), and the five teams that had contested the 1961 knock-out competed in a round robin league, with two home matches and two away matches for each team. This format and name remained until 1981–82, when the Combined Islands were split by the West Indies Cricket Board, but that only meant that the season was lengthened to five games a team. Barbados won most of the early tournaments, with nine titles of a possible 14 from 1965–66 to 1979–80, before the Combined Islands won their first title in 1980–81 after four runners-up spots in the preceding six seasons - becoming the last of the five teams to win a title.

Barbados won three more titles before the tournament was restricted in the 1986–87 season – instead of a round robin league, there were now two round robin groups, determined by geography. The league was back for the next season, however, renamed to Red Stripe Cup (from the beer brand Red Stripe). Leeward Islands won their first title in 1989–90, winning all five games in the league, but Barbados were back on top for the following season. No team managed to win for two seasons in a row for the next fourteen seasons, though Leeward Islands and Barbados exchanged the trophy for six seasons between 1993–94 and 1998–99. The WICB experimented with the format in these seasons - the 1995–96 saw a final match being played, while 1996–97 had a home-and-away round robin format (so ten matches in total). The following season, the Red Stripe withdrew as sponsor, and the tournament had to be renamed the President's Cup - and cut down to five matches a team once again. For 1998–99, the soft drink Busta came in as the tournament became the Busta Cup, and the tournament now got a semi-final and a final appended after the round robin.

Barbados and Jamaica dominated the 2000s, as they have shared the first six titles of the millennium – Barbados becoming the first team to defend their title since Jamaica did it in 1989. The 2000s also saw attempts to include teams from other nations, as England A, Bangladesh A, India A and Kenya all competed (in chronological order, one team each season), along with a university side known as West Indies B. The semi-finals were removed for the 2004–05 as was the West Indies B team and the tournament returned to a six-team league - this time with home and away matches, so a ten-game league with a final match between the top two teams. In the 2005-06 season the league returned to one round robin series so teams play five games before the top two play the Final.

Current structure

For 2006–07 the six teams played each other once in a round robin format for the Carib Beer Cup. The top two teams then progressed to the final, where they played for the Carib Beer International Challenge. The tournament was held between January and February 2007.

Points are to be awarded as follows:

* Outright win: 12 points (maximum)
* Tied match: 8 points
* Lost match: 0 points
* Abandoned match: 4 points
* Team batting last in a drawn match with scores tied: 8 points
* First innings win in drawn match: 6 points
* First innings win in lost match: 4 points
* First innings tie in drawn match: 4 points
* First innings tie in lost match: 3 points
* First innings loss in drawn match: 3 points



* [ A brief history of West Indies domestic cricket]
* [ CricketArchive]
* [ CaribbeanCricket]
* [ Competition Format of 2005-06 Carib Beer Series (pdf-file)]

External links

* [ Discuss about Carib Beer Cup] : Dedicated for Caribbean Cricket Fans.

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