The organisers of the Caribbean Single Wicket tournament are looking to increase the global appeal of the annual tournament when the 2014 edition bowls off on June 14 at Sir Frank Worrell Ground at The University of the West Indies in St Augustine.
Three current Indian Premier League Twenty20 players have already confirmed their participation in this year’s competition, including defending champion West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Smith who plays with Chennai Super Kings.
The other IPL stars in the Caribbean Singlewicket mix are Trinidad and Tobago’s Lendl Simmons, who plays with Mumbai Indians and Kevon Cooper who plays with the Rajasthan Royals.
Last year’s runner up Christopher Barnwell has also confirmed his participation along with West Indies Test batsman Narsingh Deonarine, Antigua all-rounder Devon Thomas, Trinidad and Tobago players Rayad Emrit and Navin Stewart.
Interim chairman of the Singlewicket Cricket Foundation William Wallace said they are also in discussions to have Mumbai Indians players Kieron Pollard and Krishmar Santokie come on board as well as West Indies T20 skipper Darren Sammy, who represents Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, and Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell who plays alongside Sunil Narine for the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise.
Wallace also said that beer company Carib is no longer sponsoring the competition, which will cost $500,000 to put on, and is urging corporate T&T to come on board to support the tournament which he said could grow into a global brand.
Director of the Singlewicket Cricket Foundation Andre Phillips outlined the reintroduction of singlewicket cricket in T&T in 2009 right up to last year’s tournament which was held in October with Smith defeating Barnwell in the final and said noted that the “brand” as he called it is growing and is expecting it to get bigger and better in the coming years.
He said the Youtube hits of the highlights of last year’s tournament prove that there is a growing global interest in the tournament.
“In the intermediate period since October last year, we have been able to have a global network established and that network will be formalised next year before the 2015 tournament,” he told the media during the official launch of this year’s tournament at the office Campus Principal, UWI, St Augustine yesterday.
This year’s tournament will also have bigger prize money at stake with the winner pocketing US$10,000.
The tournament, which bowls off at 4 p.m. and is expected to conclude around 11 p.m., will see 12 all-rounders from seven Caribbean territories divided into four groups of three with the winners of each group moving into the semi-finals.
The matches will be a one-on-one contest between two players. Each player will bowl two overs against his opponent, with the all-rounder who scores more runs winning the encounter.
In addition to the cricket, there will be other attractions for fans, including live performances by guest artistes.
Tickets for the tournament cost $60 and will be available at Lollabee Cellular outlets nationwide as well as at Ramsingh’s Sport World outlets.