It certainly does not have the financial muscle of the lucrative IPL, but on July 30th a new T20 tournament is set to take the world by storm.
The Limacol Caribbean Premier League as it is officially called, will be a mix of the much heralded Caribbean flair and international experience. The inaugural edition of the tournament, will see six teams compete, namely the Antigua Hawkbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel.
The 15-man teams were compiled via a draft system, which included three Pools. Pool A consisted of 26 international players, both local and international, whereas Pool B consisted of six international players and 100 local players.
Under 23 players made up Pool C. If a player from Pool A was not selected in the first rounds of selection, they would drop into the next Pool, and so on. Players will be paid according to the Pool in which they are selected.
After all was said and done, coaches seemed pretty satisfied with the teams that they ended up with. Notable West Indian and international players for the various teams include Marlon Samuels and Ricky Ponting for Antigua, Kieron Pollard and Shakib Al Hasan for Barbados, Sunil Narine and Mohammed Hafeez for Guyana, Chris Gayle and Vernon Philander for Jamaica, Darren Sammy and Albie Morkel for St Lucia, and Dwayne Bravo and Ross Taylor for Trinidad.
A total of 24 matches will be played in the tournament, which starts on July 30th and ends on August 24th. The teams look evenly matched, and one can only expect that the level of cricket will be at the highest standard.
Players like Chris Gayle, who has been uncharacteristically out of form this year, will have a lot to prove, as will a player like Ross Taylor.
The Tridents and Zouks will clash in the tournament opener, with West Indies teammates Pollard and Sammy coming up against each other.
An intense advertising campaign is well under way across the region, with the slogan, ‘We’ve Come to Play!’. From Kingston to Castries via Georgetown, fans across the region have gotten on board, and the excitement is picking up with every passing hour.
If we will be treated with anything close to the type of Caribbean cricket that we are used to, then we will be in for a great next few weeks.
Sit back, relax and allow the LCPL to invade your living rooms, Caribbean style! We are all in!
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