Verus International yesterday officially launched a new franchise based Twenty20 tournament, 'The Caribbean Premier League' ('CPL') in Barbados. Present at the launch, were West Indies Cricket Board president, Dr Julian Hunte, chairman and CEO of Verus International, Ajmal Khan, WICB CEO Michael Muirhead and a host of legends of the game and cricket officials and administrators.
Hunte, along with Khan, formally announced the ground-breaking licensing agreement for the league, which will be played across several countries in the West Indies over a one month period each year.
Comprising the best of West Indies cricket talent, each franchise team will be built around local Caribbean players complemented by a few international high calibre star players from abroad.
During his presentation Dr. Hunte said, "The realisation of the CPL is another landmark of the investor and commercial confidence which has been placed in the WICB and the brand of West Indies cricket. The WICB is particularly pleased about the opportunities the CPL will provide to players but is equally elated with the agreement which will allow for regional retainer contracts for a broad pool of players."
Dr. Hunte continued: "This will truly allow for cricketers in the Caribbean to pursue their profession as professionals and not as semi-professionals or amateurs. This, we at the WICB believe will allow for the strengthening and development of the game, as while the CPL is a Twenty20 league, the benefits that will accrue, specifically through the regional retainer contracts will extend to other formats of the game."
With the Caribbean Premier League set to be beamed across the world in a high-definition first class production, the best of Caribbean cricket and lifestyle will be on show.
Verus CEO Khan noted: "We are pleased to announce our long term partnership and investment in the Caribbean here today. We are honoured to be in the position to partner with a region so rich in cricket history and tradition. As the T20 world champions, it is fitting that a high quality, well-financed franchise-based T20 League be solidified in the West Indies that will showcase the best of its cricket talent. In addition to showcasing the Caribbean, the CPL will offer great economic opportunities throughout the region, something we are sure will excite everyone, not just cricket fans."
The Caribbean Premier League will be announcing its tournament dates, locations and partners in 2013 as well as launching their website shortly.