Terrific CPL, despite slow start - Stewart
Despite a slow start to the 2014 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), commercial director Jamie Stewart believes things have gone really well so far this season. His beliefs were buoyed by the turnout at Sabina Park from last week Thursday to Sunday, where home team, the Jamaica Tallawahs, won all three games to be second in the standings after seven games.
The defending champions are just behind on net run rate to the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel after victories over the Antigua Hawksbills on Thursday, the Guyana Amazon Warriors on Saturday and the Barbados Tridents on Sunday.
The last two games, which came down to the last over, provided a lot of drama for the virtual full house that turned out to witness the action. Stewart was among them.
"If you look at the last three weeks, it's been terrific with some of the cricket that has happened; yesterday (Saturday), with home town boy André (Russell) hitting a six to win. We had it the week before in Guyana with Darren Bravo hitting a six off the last ball, the tied match with a super over in Guyana. So it's been terrific, and it's great to see the fans come out here at Sabina in full force to support the team because that's what it's all about," he said, above the din of the celebrations following the Tallawahs' 19-run win over the Tridents on Sunday.
He said that it has been a great boost for the CPL, because Sabina Park had great crowds, even though the matches would have been competing against the motor-racing meet at Dover in St Ann and the Dream Weekend parties in Negril.
"I know it's been a busy week in Jamaica, and yet we have had full houses, so thanks to the fans for getting behind us," he said.
In retrospect, the poor crowd turnout in Grenada - a country that was hosting its first CPL match - was a disappointment, Stewart conceded, but it is something they will learn from going forward as they continue to build the product.
"I think it was tough taking on the football at the World Cup that was happening at the same time," he said of the 2014 launch on the Spice Island.
"We probably put the games in Grenada a bit too late, and we didn't have the necessary build up there, so we will take that away and have a look at that and see how we do things next year."
- Leighton Levy