New T20 league a sign of goods things, says T&T official

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board chief executive, Suruj Ragoonath believes the Caribbean Premier League will augur well for the development of regional players, and will also help bring a more professional approach cricket in the Caribbean.

Ragoonath was speaking against the backdrop of the announcement of the multi-million dollar tournament which is scheduled to take flight in the region late next year, and will replace the West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean Twenty20.

The CPL will be bankrolled by Barbados-based merchant bank Verus International and will be franchise-oriented along the lines of the lucrative Indian Premier League.

“I am sure this tournament is going to bring a lot of exposure to players who will have the opportunity to attract attention of the international public and do like (Dwayne) Bravo, (Kieron) Pollard and (Chris) Gayle have done and get other contracts as well,” said Ragoonath, a former Trinidad and Tobago opener who played two Tests for West Indies in 1999.

“But as far as opportunities are concerned it is going to bring a lot more opportunities and one would expect that the players involved and who are on the fringe will understand [and will start] improving their level of play and making cricket a career.

“I think it is very exciting that we will be having our own Premier League, following in the footsteps of what we have seen happening in the rest of the world as far as cricket is concerned. I think it is very exciting.”

The CPL will comprise six privately owned franchises – as opposed to the traditional territorial sides – which will be based in cities throughout the Caribbean.

And unlike what currently obtains in the CT20, players from throughout the world will be contracted to play in the cash-rich tournament, joining a pool of players from the region.

This development Ragoonath expects will significantly boost the quality of cricket in the CPL.

“What you are expected to get is a higher standard of cricket because you are able to draw from an international pool rather than just as island territory,” Ragoonath told the Trinidad Express newspaper.

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