DIRECTOR of Operations at the Caribbean Premier League Michael Hall, says the league is always thinking of expanding the competition, explaining that the addition of other teams in the six-team tournament is a possibility.
Since the CPL began in 2013 six teams have competed. The Trinbago Knight Riders (formerly TT Red Steel), Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Barbados Tridents, St Lucia Stars (formerly St Lucia Zouks) and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots currently compete in the CPL. In 2015, the Patriots replaced the Antigua Hawksbills that competed in 2013 and 2014.
Speaking with Newsday, at Warner Park, St Kitts during one of the CPL matches last weekend, Hall said, “The CPL, since I joined five years ago, has always been in expansion mode. I know that there has been, at least I have heard that there has been, some heightened interest from potential investors looking to create some other franchises. There is always that possibility (of more teams). I know that discussions take place regularly, and certainly the CPL as a league is in the market to have more teams whether that will happen in 2019 or 2020 it is hard to say, but we certainly would not be averse to increasing the number of teams in the league.”
The CPL has encouraged top international players to compete in the league since 2013. Hall said he is satisfied with the quality of players the league continues to attract.
“Ahead of the draft that was held in March of this year, we had more players registering for the draft than we ever had before.
It is clear that the tournament is one that players have an interest in coming to play in and I think the players that we have here, obviously outside of Indian players who are not allowed to play in any other league except their own, I think you can point to the international players who have been here and say that we really do have some of the best of the best. We are very happy with the level of interest from the international players.” This year’s tournament, which ends on September 16, has top international players. Some of the international players are Australian David Warner (Stars), South African David Miller (Tallawahs), Brendon McCullum of New Zealand (Knight Riders), South African Hashim Amla (Tridents), Mahmudullah of Bangladesh (Patriots) and Luke Ronchi of New Zealand (Amazon Warriors).
On the overall running of the 2018 tournament, Hall said the league is running smoothly.
“I think for the most part the tournament has gone well. We have had a couple of hiccups, but you might expect that in any event of this size, but I think by and large from an operations perspective we have done a good job.”
The match between Patriots and Stars was abandoned at Warner Park in St Kitts on August 30, due to seepage through the covers. On the match that was abandoned Hall said, “I would like to say that you could probably lay the blame for that in equal proportion to the elements, as well as maybe some human error in terms of the covers and how they were placed and so on. Outside of that I don’t know we have had any major operational issues.”
Hall said there was also an issue with one of the light towers at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad before one of the matches, but it did not affect any of the games.