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O'Donohoe hopes US market will give CPL T20 a blast

Published:Monday | June 20, 2016 | 6:00 AM

Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 Chief Executive Officer Damien O'Donohoe is hoping that in taking the tournament to the United States it will get bigger and better.

The league, which bowls off in near two weeks, will, for the first time, have matches staged in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at the Central Broward Stadium, with six matches to be played by its six competing teams.

"One of the biggest moves that the league will make this year is playing in the United States," O'Donohoe told The Gleaner.

"The US is one of the biggest sports market in the world, and to know that we will be making strides to tap into it is really exciting for us.

"All the teams, with their top international players, will be involved, and it should be a fun-filled couple of weeks," said O'Donohoe.

The Florida segment of the tournament, which will be the final leg before the start of the semi-final play-offs, is set to bowl off on July 28 with perennial title challengers Guyana Amazons, led by New Zealand's Martin Guptill, going up against the Kieron Pollard-captained Barbados Tridents.

O'Donohoe, in the meantime, has also expressed pleasure at the pace of ticket sales for Florida and is hopeful that the expansion will increase television viewers worldwide.

 

HIGH HOPES

 

"We will be going there with hopes of growing the league, particularly as it relates to television rights," he explained.

"The Caribbean television market alone is such a small market and difficult to break-even with. We need to expand. The hope, therefore, is that with the United States now a part of the mix, we will be able to improve our television offerings."

He added: "The league going to Florida will also give Caribbean diaspora cricket fans, as well as diaspora fans from other cricket-playing countries, an opportunity to witness a number of their favourite players upfront and personal."

The CPL, now in its fourth year, is scheduled to bowl off with defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders, captained by Dwayne Bravo, taking on the Darren Sammy-led St Lucia Zouks at Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago.