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West Indies to have their own IPL with CPL

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Darren Sammy Caribbean Premier League
Archiman Bhaduri for CaribDirect

Staff Writer – Archi

Here’s an opportunity for West Indian players like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Naraine and others to earn some more money and win some more fans at home as the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) is all set to launch their own Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which will be held in July and August this year.

The league similar to that of the hugely-popular Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Australia Big Bash League will eventually replace the existing country-based Caribbean Twenty20 tournament.

The Caribbean Twenty20 was an annual Twenty20 cricket tournament in the West Indies that was held four times from 2010 to 2013.

The previous domestic T20 tournament held by the WICB was the Stanford 20-20 event, which ended in 2008 after its sponsor Allen Stanford was charged with fraud and arrested in June 2009.

Chris Gayle Caribbean Premiere League

Chris Gayle. Photo courtesy bubblews.com

The CPL, which is earmarked to last a month, will be jointly owned and operated by merchant banking firm Verus International, based on a 20-year licensing arrangement with the WICB and the sport’s regional governing body.

Verus International, which has experience in private sector banking and investment, has offices in Bridgetown, and New York, USA.

Kieron Pollard Caribbean Premier League

Kieron Pollard. Photo courtesy worldocricket.com

CPL is now set to begin on July 29 with six franchise teams. The organisers have identified Gayle, Pollard, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo as the six icon players of the sides.

Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago will be the six franchise teams and each of these players will be part of one of these outfits.

Darren Sammy Caribbean Premier League

Darren Sammy. Photo courtesy voice-online.co.uk

“The CPL has chosen the top six T20 players in the region based on their stats and performances in this format of the game,” Dirk Hall, managing director of Verus International said. “Doing it this way ensures that each team is bolstered by a talented, top West Indian player, and that there is balance and fairness across the board on all six teams,” Hall added.

Sunil Narine2

According to media reports in Guyana, each of the franchises will have 15 contracted players with a maximum of six overseas cricketers.

CPL’s first edition is likely to spread over 32 matches with each franchise playing on home and away bases.

“As the ICC World T20 champions, it is only fitting that a high-quality, well-financed franchise-based T20 League be solidified in the West Indies so as to showcase the best talents available.

Marlon Samuels Caribbean Premier League

Marlon Samuels. Photo courtesy asportsnews.com

The CPL will offer great economic opportunities for all cricket stakeholders throughout the region and is something we at Verus International are sure will excite everyone, not only cricket fans,” Versus International chairman and CEO Ajmal Khan said during a small launch party of the meet recently in Barbados.

The launch programme was attended by several former West Indies players, including fast bowlers Wes Hall and Joel Garner, current West Indies team officials, government officials and local dignitaries.

Dwayne Bravo Caribbean Premier League

Dwayne Bravo. Photo courtesy thecricketgames.blogspot.com

“It is a good initiative, and one can only hope that it will be organised in such a way that it assists players in becoming more professional at what they do,” said Garner, president of the Barbados Cricket Association and a WICB director.

“I have always maintained that talent alone will not make players successful, and if this can lead to better infrastructure and player development then West Indies cricket will be better for it,” Garner added.

Adrian Barath with the great Joel Garner Caribbean Premier League

Adrian Barath with the great Joel Garner, right. Photo courtesy images22.com

West Indian big-hitter Marion Samuels welcomed the league and said “it will hopefully put focus on our local talents.”



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