The news of Limacol being a sponsor for the Caribbean’s inaugural (franchise-styled) Premier league in cricket spread through the region like wild fire. Most of the people under 30 wondered what Limacol was and did extensive research on this fresh scented liquid. So by the time July 30 came, most people who watched cricket were ready for this competition.
The team from CPLT20 moved around the region in droves and saw to it that the games which were played in six territories were well managed. The opener in Barbados was a stunner, and nothing changed since then.
The Elite cricketers from the region each captained a team from Hawkbills (Antigua); Tridents (Barbados); Amazon Warriors (Guyana); Tallawahs (Jamaica); Zouks (St. Lucia) and Red Steel (Trinidad & Tobago). The teams all had an eclectic mix of athletic, skilled, shy, explosive and exciting players.
There was a suggestion that the mix may not work; however with Kieron Pollard captaining the B’dos Tridents to three straight wins in B’dos, the tone and pace were set. The scores for each game were looking to be somewhere from 93 – 176 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
The West Indies Cricket Board along with its partners CPL, Digicel, Virgin, Limacol were well represented at all venues and by the time the tournament ended Hollywood came and will stay. 2Guns star Mark Wahlberg and Law Abiding Citizen’s star, Gerald Butler were two of the early investors, while Sir Richard Branson showed his hands early.
The inaugural tournament has been hailed a massive success http://cplt20.com/news/inaugural-limacol-caribbean-premier-league-tournament-hailed-%E2%80%9Cmassive-success%E2%80%9D
Some stand outs were obvious through the tournament – Hawksbills’ Sheldon Cotterrell; Amazon Warriors’ Krishmar Santokie and Sunil Narine; Red Steel’s Nicholas Pooran and the obviously well executed leadership from the Caribbean Elite Stars.
What was also more noticeable were the faces of Curtly Ambrose, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Sir Vivian Richards on the benches of teams and a cross-section of sport officials to include managers, physiotherapists and coaches. The CPL model is here to stay and the cricket can only grow from this initiative.
There were impressive displays from the internationals from other regions most of whom enjoyed the Caribbean ‘party’ – Vernon Philander was the true honorary Jamaican.
SUPPORTING THE FRANCHISE MODEL
The integration of the Caribbean players and officials with the other international stars is what can benefit the growth and further development of cricket and in copying what the NBA and other elite sport franchises too, it makes for a great formula.
Check out the team again if you missed them http://cplt20.com/team-locations/jamaica
The dates have been set for the 2014 renewal from July 5 to August 10 and the arguments have already started to swirl. Certainly the biggest one is the lack of lights at Sabina Park. Take a look at action from the day-time game in Kingston
So in summary – CPL T 20 – in 2013 – 25 days, sold out and packed games, wins, losses, parties, one winner – Jamaica Tallawahs
The Caribbean remains a potpourri of great talent on display in a destination conducive to great sporting moments. The inaugural Limacol, CPLT20 was just that.
Let’s build on this for next year and WELCOME TO THE BIGGEST PARTY IN SPORT.