CPL 2016


An a matter of days, the HERO Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2016 tournament will commence with some of the leading West Indian and international talents set to descend on the Caribbean. Excitement is building as many fans across Guyana and the other nations where the games are expected to be played are now in a rush to secure tickets and be part of the action.

Now in its fourth year, CPL is now truly established as one of the leading T20 leagues in the world and compares favourably with the likes of the IPL and Big Bash League.

From what we have seen so far, the competition is expected to be stiffer this year as some of the best international talents in world cricket have been selected to participate in the tournament. With the West Indies currently sitting atop the World T20 team rankings, the top quality signings of iconic and hugely decorated marquee players shows that CPL is serious about captivating the attention of both the West Indies public and cricket followers globally.

Many stakeholders in the Caribbean are very optimistic about the huge potential the tournament has in terms of cricket development in the Caribbean and the development of the region as a whole.

In previous tournaments, almost every stakeholder came out in support of the games. From current and past players to commentators, government officials, corporate sponsors, Hollywood actors and so on; all of them understood the kind of impact a tournament of such magnitude would have on the region. Certainly, the economic impact has been tremendous.

According to an independent Economic Impact study on the tournament, Guyana’s economy cashed in on some US$24.5 million from the overall US$166 million that was injected to the Region’s economy during the 2014 tournament – a significant increase of 58 per cent on 2013.

The study conducted by SMG-Insight/YouGov, one of the world’s leading sports measurement, research and analysis companies, showed a breakout across each of the eight markets as follows: Antigua and Barbuda – US$13.8 million; Barbados – US$28.7 million; Grenada – US$13.3 million; Guyana – US$24.5 million; Jamaica – US$25.1 million; St Kitts and Nevis – US$26.3 million; St Lucia – US$13.9 million and Trinidad and Tobago – US$21.1 million. This is the kind of fillip the region’s economies need at a time when most of them are recording slow growth rates.

Further, there has been massive commercial support for the tournament which this region has never seen for any sporting event. It was disclosed that even before a ball was bowled, almost 40 commercial partners were on board signalling their long-term support for the tournament and West Indies cricket in general. That number has increased dramatically to date as many Caribbean businesses are seeing for themselves the significant returns they could have from investing and being part of the tournament.

In terms of media coverage, the tournament has had a global audience for the games through outstanding broadcast coverage on television and radio, in addition to significant presence on social media through Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Importantly too is that the League has provided the opportunity for new talents to emerge. Players like young Nicholas Pooran, Rayad Emrit, Sheldon Cotterell and Steven Jacobs, to name a few, who may have flown under the radar or been overshadowed by the bigger names in the region have now been given an opportunity to shine, and they are indeed taking advantage of that opportunity.

Certainly CPL has opened many doors for these young athletes to achieve their dreams by competing all over the world.

Many experts have said that the CPL has exceeded every benchmark set. It has sparked a renewed interest in cricket as persons all over the region, even those who were not avid cricket fans, are talking about the game.

Prior to CPL, there has never been this level of interest in cricket here, except for the period when the West Indies were on top of world cricket.

The CPL has shown both the West Indian public’s enduring love for cricket and the endless potential for growth and success that there is in the region.

In essence, CPL has indeed been a success story not only as it relates to the development of cricket, but the potential for growth and the ability to create the kind of opportunities that would seek to improve the lives of citizens.