THE EDITOR: CPL 2020 is over. After much talk and cross-talk, both positive and negative, the Government and the organisers marched ahead and staged a well organised event.
After doing some evaluation, I have come up with five major success stories.
Initially, before the finals, I had the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and its staff – well organised and co-ordinated by Udecott and its facility manager, Haresh Ragoonath –in the top spot. However, the leadership, management, coaching and match-day performances of the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) certainly eclipsed any other contenders. The team’s pre-tournament planning, match-day strategies and overall implementation were almost faultless. TKR fully deserved the title.
The Udecott-managed academy is the second success. The drainage was wonderful, as was the mopping up, plus the pitches were decent. A bit slow, yes, but not ultra-challenging.
The third was the smooth and almost seamless organisation and implementation by the CPL team. From getting all the players, match officials, TV crews and other tournament staff to Trinidad and having them all adhere to covid19 protocols for such an extended time must have posed real challenges. In the end, we had no breaches, no late starts, and no known malfunctions. Kudos to the CPL logistics team.
The fourth positive takeaway must be the discipline and professionalism of the players, match officials, ground staff, tournament managers and all service providers. They all adhered to the standards laid down by the chief medical officer and his staff to keep the event mostly problem free.
And finally, I salute captains Kieron Pollard and Daren Sammy, West Indian leaders, for recognising and voicing their concerns on the lack of a proper development system for our regional cricketers.
The CPL alone is not enough. There must be work going on in the player production department to serve the CPL. Initially, the now infamous Stanford T20 and short-lived but successful Caribbean T20 provided that opportunity, and many of the present standouts came through that system.
Today there is no incentive for territorial boards to utilise scarce resources to produce or promote T20 cricket, as there is little return to the organisations. The CWI may be constrained by its legal agreement with the CPL but I am sure that a model can be worked out, not in franchise format, but utilising traditional regional boundaries to create a Caribbean-only domestic T20 tournament.
This will go a long way in eliminating some of the weaknesses of the CPL as it relates to match strategies, player improvement, transfer of knowledge, pitch preparation, testing and monitoring, to name a few.
Congratulations to all who contributed to a very good event.