Franchise concept will catch on in the Caribbean, says CPL official

Bridgetown (Barbados), July 5 (IANS/CMC) An official of the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL) says he is confident fans will adjust to the new franchise concept when the Twenty20 bowls off later this month.

Paul Skinner, Event Operations Officer for the Barbados leg of the CPL, says the same would have applied for fans of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when it was inaugurated, reports CMC.

Barbados will be the first port of call for the CPL, hosting what is expected to be a glitzy opening ceremony and the maiden game between Barbados Tridents and St Lucia Zouks, at Kensington Oval July 30.

"It is one of those things where you have to get accustomed. The first year the IPL was run, it was a case of getting used to players who may not have necessarily come from the particular city, but who were playing for those cities," Skinner explained.

"But that's the whole essence of the franchise system where players are selected from wherever they are within the region, to play for a particular team."

Barbados Tridents will be captained by West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago big-hitter Kieron Pollard, and includes the likes of Trinidadian Shannon Gabriel, the Pakistani duo of Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, and superstar Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib al Hasan.

However, several Barbadians populate the 15-man squad, with Dwayne Smith, Kyle Mayers, Raymon Reifer, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter and Kirk Edwards, all included.

"It is a new concept and with anything new, there will be a period of adjustment," said Skinner, who has worked extensively in the past with the IPL.

"Yes we have a Trinidadian captaining a team that is in Barbados but when he goes and plays cricket in Mumbai, he is a Trinidadian playing cricket in Mumbai so there is not really much difference."

The CPL will feature an array of Caribbean and international stars contesting 24 matches, played across Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, from July 30 to Aug 24.

--IANS/CMC

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