Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 (CPLT20) commercial director Jamie Stewart is expecting a bigger and better CPL next year, with more international players wanting to be part of the competition.
He said the organisers have a window between June and July for the 2014 tournament, which he is hoping will feature a lot more international players.
“I think next year we’ve got a window of mid-June to mid-July…we chose it because there is not too much international cricket happening at that time.
“The international playing pool will be a function of who is playing internationally and which series are taking place, but I am pretty confident now that given the experience the players have had and given that the word of mouth will get around, I think everyone will want to play CPL next year,” said Stewart.
The inaugural tournament featured players from New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Australia and Sri Lanka playing alongside the West Indian players.
However it was not until the end of the tournament that some big name players in Sri Lankans Lasith Malinga, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene—who were previously on international duty—signed on.
Stewart said the late inclusion of the Sri Lanka players was a boost for the finale, but insisted that it was prompted by “interesting circumstances”.
“We were put in an interesting circumstance this time. At the same time, this window was supposed to have the Sri Lankan Premier League taking place, which did not actually go ahead (that) made all the Sri Lankan players suddenly available.
“So we had a strange situation where on the one hand we had the Pakistan players (that) had to leave (for their ongoing series against Zimbabwe) and the full Sri Lankan squad were available.
“So I mean in a way it has been good for the tournament to have big names like Malinga and Dilshan and Sangakkara to come, so I think that has been a boost for the final. But in terms of the procedure, our rules say if someone is unavailable due to injury or international duties, the team can replace them and it is up to the teams who they choose.
“So we had this strange situation where all these huge names were available, which weren’t there in the first place,” he added.
Stewart also believes that the impact of the CPLT20 will be beyond just entertainment on the cricket field.
“This is an amazing part of the world. If you look across the world, where do you have a professional sports league played across tropical islands? We have a real USP (unique selling proposition) for this event,” he explained.
“We really have something here, and if we can all band together, we can have something that can really transform the Caribbean and project the Caribbean to the rest of the world,” Stewart concluded.