JCA launches T20 Premier League
Cricket fans across the island are set to experience non-stop action starting this weekend with the playing of a franchise-based Jamaica Premier League T20 tournament.
The league, which is being sponsored by the Tourism Enhancement Fund and is being staged in a style similar to the now-popular Indian Premier League and Australia Big Bash League, will be broadcast live and delayed on Television Jamaica (TVJ).
It will feature eight town-based franchises and the top T20 players in the country, including West Indies representatives Jerome Taylor, Nikita Miller, Krishmar Santokie, Shawn Findlay, Xavier Marshall and Danza Hyatt.
The franchise are Spanish Town Titans, Ocho Rios Chargers, Kingston Hurricane, MoBay Sixers, Mandeville Thunder, University Dynamites, Half-Way Tree Sparks and May Pen Earthquakes.
They will compete for close to $3 million in cash and prizes.
"Twenty20 cricket is the way of cricketing world right now in terms of spectator interest, a fact that we at the Jamaica Cricket Association recognise," said tournament director Oneil Cruickshank at a glitzy launch held at Sabina Park on Tuesday.
"We are therefore delighted to stage what we hope will become a popular league and help to revive participation among cricket fans."
The league will be held over the course of three weeks and will be staged across five venues.
They are Melbourne Oval, Chedwin Park, Noranda Bauxite (formerly Kaiser), Treasure Beach Sports Complex, and the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium.
The franchise will be divided into two groups of four and will play each other once, with the top two advancing to the semi-finals set for Saturday, December 8 at the Trelawny Stadium.
The semi-finals will be followed by the playing of the final a day later, also at the Trelawny Stadium.
The winning team will take home $500,000 and the beaten finalist $200,000.
The opening round of matches on Saturday will see Half-Way Tree Sparks going up against Spanish Town Titans and Ocho Rios Chargers taking on Kingston Hurricane at Melbourne Oval,while at Treasure Beach MoBay Sixers will take on Mandeville Thunder, and University Dynamites face May Pen Earthquakes.