Bridgetown, (IANS/CMC) Caribbean Premier T20 League operations manager Carlisle Powell says the key stakeholders in the six franchise countries have thrown their support behind the inaugural tournament which bowls off in July.
Powell and other CPL officials recently held meetings with cricket board executives, stadium management, tourism representatives and government ministers in Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago, to apprise them on the tournamentâ€™s progress.
A former government minister in Nevis, Powell said he was thrilled with the response to the tournament.
â€œThe opportunity to sit down at the table with each of these groups in the six franchise countries was imperative because we wanted to make sure we answered the questions, and addressed any concerns they had,â€ said Powell, the father of West Indies Test opener Kieran Powell Sunday.
â€œOnce we did that, everyone had a greater understanding of the CPL vision, what we hope to accomplish and the benefits to their country specifically and the region in general.
â€œThe result was that the governments, the cricket boards and the tourism boards are all pleased to give their full support to the CPL, and are excited about the prospects of a first-class sporting event being hosted annually in the region, bringing a much needed economic boost to the Caribbean and attracting new and repeat visitors.â€
Chief executive of the CPL, Damien Oâ€™Donohoe said it was crucial that the tournament maintained a good relationship with local boards.
â€œOur goal is to keep the countries abreast of as much of the planning surrounding the tournament as possible,â€ he noted.
â€œAfter all, they have demonstrated their hospitality by welcoming us into their jurisdiction, opening their grounds to us and allowing us to utilise the valuable resources that they have. We are eager to reciprocate.â€
The CPL will bowl off July 30 and run until August 24, and feature 24 matches across six countries. Ninety players will be contracted in six 15-man squads.
Already, Windies stars Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels have been named as the regional franchise players while former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, New Zealand stroke-maker Ross Taylor, Pakistanâ€™s Mohammad Hafeez, Herschelle Gibbs of South Africa and Sri Lanka spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan, have signed on as international franchise players.