The 2018 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is on in earnest, and some thrilling cricket games have been played so far by several teams and individual players.
A few of the performances that will be spoken about for a long time are Andre Russell’s superhuman effort of a century and a hat-trick in the same match. A stunning first T-20 century by Kieron Pollard, the stroke-filled century by Shimron Hetmeyer and the epic innings of 94 from Darren Bravo that helped the Trinbago Knight Riders pulled off a record CPL chase against the St. Lucia Stars.
By and large, the CPL has lived up to its billing so far as the greatest party in sports, and there is all indication that the tournament will get more intense and exciting as we get into the business end where teams will be giving their all to get into the semi-finals and finals. I am definitely excited and looking forward to seeing some more thrilling cricket been played for the remainder of the CPL. The CPL has evolved into one of the top global T-20 Leagues in the world, and there are some important lessons to be learned from the CPL, we will discuss some of these.
One of the things that the CPL has shown is that the passion for cricket is still alive in the Caribbean. The jampacked venues at most of the CPL games are a testament to this, the Caribbean people are naturally fun loving, and the spectacle of the CPL allows them to express and enjoy themselves in an unadulterated way.
There is music played, beer flowing all around and sixes sailing out of the park; this is cricket heaven! The fact that the CPL games last for just over three hours also plays a role in the overwhelming support of the tournament, since in this day and age of immediate gratification fewer people are inclined to sit for five days and watch a test match.
The CPL is, therefore, the perfect option for a wide cross-section of Caribbean people who loves the game but were becoming disinterested due to the ordinary performance of the West Indies team in the longer format of the game in recent years.
The CPL has also unearthed several young and talented players since its inception, some of these players include; Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran, Ali Khan, Kennar Lewis, Oshane Thomas, Khary Pierre, Obed McCoy among many others. These players have gotten their breaks in the CPL and have shown that they have the necessary talent to do well in cricket. The CPL should, therefore, be credited for providing a springboard for identifying and developing cricketing talent which is a critical requirement for the game to remain strong in the region.
Another benefit of the CPL is that it provides the Caribbean region with a well needed economic boost. The CPL is a strong brand and is getting stronger every year with a growing following from all over the cricketing world which equates to increased income potential for the region as a whole. The CPL which is billed as the biggest party in sports is a powerful source of marketing for the different islands that games are played due to the fact the CPL is streamed to millions of people from all over the world. This exposes the islands to a larger source market and therefore economic opportunities.
Finally, the CPL has contributed to the expansion of the game into non-traditional markets such as the United States. The CPL has been hosting matches at the Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill Florida since 2016, players from the United States (6 in 2018) have been contracted by CPL teams, some of which, such as Ali Khan and Steven Taylor have performed reasonably well. This foray into the massive USA market by the CPL is one that should be commended since the growth of cricket in the USA will make the West Indies and by extension world cricket stronger. The CPL should, therefore, be supported by all stakeholders of West Indies Cricket since it has the potential to save the game of cricket in the region.
Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Robin Elliston
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