Twenty20 league has become a trend these days. Most of the cricket fans love to watch it as it is played for just 20 over. Caribbean Premier League is one such league which is conducted by West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). This tournament was not the first organised Twenty20 in the Caribbean. It was preceded by Stanford 20/20 which was a privately organised tournament. But this was stopped in 2009 when its sponsor Allen Stanford was arrested because of massive financial fraud.
To fill the void left by Stanford 20/20, Caribbean Premier League was started by WICB in 2013. The first commercial partner of the game was Ajmal Khan who was the founder of the Verus International, a Barbados-based International Bank. The agreement between WICB and Verus International was signed for a minimum period of 20 years. As per the terms of the agreement, WICB was getting annual funding for additional retainer contracts for players.
The global sponsor of the first edition was a Caribbean mobile network named Digicel. This was selected as it was having a wide range of experience in sponsoring the cricket tournaments in West Indies and also in various parts of the world. The title sponsorship was done by Limacol brand of Bobby Ramroop’s New GPC Company. The game is currently sponsored by Hero MotoCarp and therefore it is officially called as the Hero CPL. The structure and the organisation of the League were decided after the adequate discussion with the Federation of International Cricketer’s Association and the West Indies Players Association.
The major purpose of starting this league was not only to popularize the game but also to provide a wonderful opportunity for the regional players to establish themselves on the international platform. Apart from this, it would also provide a large number of job opportunities to the people across varied sectors as there will be a significant pumping of cash into the sector.
Caribbean Premier League Venues, Teams and Broadcasting Rights
The venues of the matches are Sabina Park, Warner Park, Darren Sammy Stadium, Central Broward Regional Parks, and Brian Lara Stadium etc. The most important stadium is the Queen’s Park Oval with the capacity of about 20,000 located in Trinidad.
The broadcasting rights of the matches were awarded to different networks in different regions of the countries. Apart from the Caribbean Islands, the games were broadcasted in different parts of the world. For example, Star Sports telecasted it in India, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
There were six teams in the first series with the maximum number of players coming from the West Indies. Those teams include Jamaica Tallawahs, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Lucia Zouks and Antigua Hawksbills. The teams also included players from all around the world. In total, there were around 90 contracted players in the first series. At present, the players are paid with a hefty salary with a cap of US$780000 per season.
The inaugural edition was a grand success with a significant number of viewers. The teams were divided into a group stage and a knockout stage. Each team will be playing ten matches in the group stage. In these ten matches, three will be at their home grounds. In the knockout stage, there will be two semi-finals and a final. These three games will take place at the Queen’s Park Oval. In the first edition of the game, Jamaica Tallawahs were the winners against Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Teams
The basic information about the different teams participating in this tournament is given below:
Guyana Amazon Warriors
The team was founded in 2013. Their home ground is in Province Stadium with the capacity of 15000. The coach of the team is Johan Botha. The famous international players in this team are Shoaib Malik, Jason Mohammed and Shimron Hetmyer. The colours of the team are Gold, Green, Red, Black and White.
This was also created in the year 2013. It has its home ground at Sabina Park and Central Broward Regional Park. The total capacity of this ground is 15600. It has won two premier leagues. The players are currently headed by Andre Russell and trained by Mark O’Donnell. The colours of the team are Green, Black and Gold. The major foreign players are Ross Taylor, Glenn Phillips and Elmore Hutchinson. The sponsors are Foska Oats, Sleek Jamaica etc.
The team was inaugurated in the year 2013. The team members are efficiently trained by the coach Robin Singh. The captain is Jason Holder. The team has its home ground in Kensington Oval with the capacity of 11000. The team selected Blue and Yellow as its colours. Some of the important foreign players of the team are Martin Guptill, Hashim Amla and Sunny Sohal etc. The commercial partners are Rockhard cement and Barbados.
Trinbago Knight Riders
The team was formed in 2013. Their home ground is in Queen’s Park Oval and Brian Lara Academy. Each has the capacity of 20,000. The team is headed by Dwayne Bravo and the coach is Simon Katich. It has won two titles so far. The major commercial partner is Hotstar.
St. Lucia Stars
It was in 2013 the team was established. Kieron Pollard is the captain of the team while Brad Hodge as its coach. They play their home matches at Darren Sammy Ground which can accommodate the maximum audience of 15000. The colours of the team are Blue, Yellow, Black and White. Some of the important international players are David Warner, Mitchell McClenaghan. Their best record is in 2016 winning 6 out of 10.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
It is the most recent team which was started in 2015. The captain of the team is Chris Gayle and the team is trained by Donovan Miller. It’s home ground is in Warner Park, Basseterre with the capacity of 10,000. The colours are Red, Black and Green. The overseas players are Ben Cutting, Mahmudullah and Tom Cooper.
Antigua Hawksbills which was also started in 2013 had become defunct now.
Though the tournament had been commenced recently, it had acquired immense popularity in a very short period of time.