St. James, Barbados – Tuesday, 12 Feb. 2013 –Financier, Ajmal Khan, Founder and Chairman of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), revealed further details about the League, including regional and international franchise player information, event dates, potential franchise countries, plans for player development in the region, tournament logo and the terms of agreement between the League and the WICB, all of which can be found on newly launched website: www.CPLT20.com.
Mr. Khan, Founder and Chairman of Verus International, was joined by WICB President Dr. Julian Hunte, Michael Muirhead, WICB CEO, Dirk Hall, Managing Director of Verus International, and Jamie Stewart, CEO of Commune at the media event where he announced the potential six franchise countries – Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago – and expounded on the economic benefits to the region that will come about as a result of the CPL.
“The CPL will showcase the beauty and talent of the Caribbean to the world,” declared Khan. “The best cricketers that the West Indies has to offer playing alongside their international counterparts, coupled with celebrity appeal from Hollywood, Bollywood and local and international music talent with the carnival atmosphere for which the Caribbean is world-renowned and indeed envied, is sure to draw the attention of current and new cricket fans across the globe. We’re going to make sure that all eyes are on the shores of the Caribbean in July and August.”
Mr. Khan also discussed the massive economic development benefits for the region. “I have witnessed first-hand the resurgence and revitalisation of communities and even countries when new businesses and industries are introduced into their economies, particularly those with such global reach. I believe that the Caribbean Premier League will have a tremendous economic impact, not only for the six franchise countries but also for the entire region. Benefits include international and regional travel to and around the Caribbean, hospitality, entertainment, transportation and shopping. There will be significant advertising and marketing revenue as we plan to make the Caribbean Premier League the biggest party on the planet; which will result in a significant boost in local employment opportunities surrounding the events.”
The audience, which included members of the Caribbean media, Ministers of Governments from around the region, regional cricket board representatives and West Indies cricket legends such as Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Reverend Wes Hall, Desmond Haynes, Clive Lloyd and Joel Garner, also heard about the heightened international exposure from which the Caribbean will benefit as a result of the tournament.
Dirk Hall confirmed the dates for the 2013 Caribbean Premier League as 29 July to 26 August. The 2014 and 2015 tournaments will take place from 5 July to 10 August and 21 June to 26 July respectively.
Chris Gayle Announced as Franchise Player
Amid much fanfare and excitement featuring pyrotechnics, the six West Indian franchise players were revealed by cricket commentators Ian Bishop and Barry Wilkinson. Chris Gayle was announced as a franchise player, and his fellow Jamaican teammate Marlon Samuels, who was on hand for the evening’s festivities, will also be one of the top West Indian players. They will be joined by the other franchise players, Sunil Narine; Dwayne Bravo; West Indies Team Captain Darren Sammy; and Kieron Pollard.
“The CPL has chosen the top six T20 players in the region based on their stats and performances in this format of the game” said Dirk Hall, responding to the question of why some of the franchise players are not natives of the country they are representing. “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 also told attendees that the CPL is in negotiations with six international players who will also be franchise players for each of the six countries. “We will definitely have non-West Indian players playing in the League but there will be restrictions,” explained Hall. “Only four non-West Indian players can be contracted for each team, and the reason for this is our desire to maximise the development opportunities for as many West Indian players as possible.” The Tournament website – www.cplT20.com – was launched as well as the CPL Twitter (@cpl_T20) and Facebook (CPL T20) accounts.
“Greater financial stability and development opportunities for players”
Dr. Julian Hunte, President of the WICB, spoke positively about the future of West Indies Cricket in light of the Board’s agreement with the CPL, calling the initiative more than just a tournament but another avenue for advancing the game through player development.
“The WICB is particularly pleased about the opportunities the CPL will provide to players but is equally elated with the agreement which will allow for regional retainer contracts for a broad pool of players. These contracts will be funded by the CPL to the tune of US$360,000 annually. This significant investment will truly allow for cricketers in the Caribbean to pursue their profession as professionals,” Dr. Hunte said.
“The CPL will bring direct and indirect economic and social benefits to every country in which it is involved and in neighbouring countries. It will augment, in a major way our already world renowned tourism product. The benefits will extend even further. The CPL will transform the landscape of the region and take it into a new dimension,” Dr. Hunte added.
In addition to the retainer contracts, the CPL officials also outlined the other ways that the tournament will ensure regional players will benefit when they outlined the makeup of the six franchise teams, explaining that each team would have 15 players, at least six of whom must be local players from that franchise country. In addition, at least four of the players must be under the age of 23. The remainder of the team must consist of regional and/or local players and a maximum of four international players. In the case of St. Lucia, locals are deemed to be any players from the Windward Islands, and cricketers from any of the Leeward Islands can be considered local players for Antigua.