Jermaine Lannaman, Sunday Gleaner Writer
West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president, Dr Julian Hunte, is promising huge economical and social benefits for countries participating in the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20.
The CPL, which is set to bowl off on July 29 and end on August 26, will be staged across six countries, and according to Hunte each country stands to benefit significantly, especially in the area of tourism.
"The CPL will bring direct and indirect economic and social benefits to every country in which it is involved and in neighbouring countries," said Hunte during the launch of the league in Barbados last Tuesday.
"It will augment, in a major way our already world-renowned tourism product. The CPL will transform the landscape of the region and take it into a new dimension," he added.
The CPL, the WICB's answer to other popular Twenty20 leagues around the world, will feature six regional city-based franchise teams from six different countries.
The countries that are being considered include Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia.
Revitalisation of communities
Other countries such as The Bahamas, Bermuda, St Vincent and Grenadines and St Kitts have also been shortlisted should any of the preferred countries be unable to host a franchise team.
"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," said CPL chairman, Ajmal Khan.
"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."
The CPL, which will be televised regionally and internationally, will see each franchise team comprising 15 players, six of whom must be from the franchise team's host country.
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.
Additionally, each team will be allowed to have a maximum of four international players as well as four players who are the age of 23 on its roster.
The CPL is being organised by Barbados-based merchant bank Verus International, which was recently granted a 20-year licence to execute the event.