TORONTO, Canada – There’s likely to be a clash of CPLs in 2015 with both the third edition of the Caribbean Premiere League (CPL) and the proposed inaugural Canadian Premiere League (CPL) set to be staged around the same time.
According to reports circulating here, the first-ever Canadian Premiere League is set to be bowled off at the Montreal Olympic Stadium on July 12, 2015. It should be noted that both the 2013 and 2014 Caribbean Premiere League tournaments were held in July/August.
Interestingly enough, several key West Indians are reportedly part of the hierarchy of the Canadian Premiere League with former West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul said to be a director while current One-day skipper Dwayne Bravo, Test captain Denesh Ramdin, and opener Keiron Powell, listed as co-owners.
While Chanderpaul has not played in Caribbean Premiere League to date, Ramdin skippered the Guyana Amazon Warriors who lost to Barbados Tridents in this year’s final, Bravo served as captain of Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in 2013 and 2014 while Powell, who missed this year’s competition, led the Antigua Hawksbills in 2013. In addition, current West Indies manager and interim coach Sir Richie Richardson has been named as head of Global Player Operations.
The historical partnership was inked in August following the conclusion of this year’s Caribbean Premiere League, prompting Ramdin to state “I fully support the growth and development of international-calibre T20 cricket through the Canadian Premier League and the direction being taken by Roy Singh, the League’s founder and CEO. Roy has the vision, determination and drive to make this League truly successful and sustainable and I am thrilled to be coming on board as part of such a pioneering venture for the North American market.”
Ramdin’s sentiments were also echoed by Bravo who pointed out that “the Canadian Premier League is already creating waves of excitement within the international cricketing community.
What makes the League stand out is Roy Singh’s brilliance and initiative in carving out a niche market in this region and ensuring that the business model surrounding his League is based on longevity that centres on a real passion for growth and development of the game. I am looking forward to being part of this powerful venture.”
Reports further indicated that 10 teams have already been identified to participate in the tournament and they are The Snow Owls, The Hummingbirds, The Condors, The Predators, The Hornets, The Huskies, The Sentinels, The Bobcats, The Spartans and The Wolverines.
CEO Guyanese Singh has also disclosed that T20 specialist Chris Gayle, former Australian leg-spinning great Shane Warne, and retired Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar have reportedly confirmed their participation, meaning Gayle is also likely to miss the Caribbean Premiere League.
The reports cited the CEO as saying that each team will consist of 15 professional players from across the world and will be involved in a total of 48 games which, he said, have been sanctioned by Cricket Canada and are expected to be televised worldwide.
The reports also pointed out that the Canadian Premiere League will be the owners of all 10 teams during the first two years and thereafter the teams will be available to interested buyers. The league is also in the process of selling ownership stakes to interested investors.
At the August signing, Singh had also disclosed that the Canadian Premiere League was also looking to build a 35,000 seat state of the art indoor cricket stadium in Canada. If that materialises it would be the first purpose-built covered cricket facility in the world with a natural grass field and a fixed roof, according to those behind the project. It would be made available for use year-round and host international matches.
“CDN$700 million has already been raised for this,” said Singh, while noting that the group is currently in discussion with economic development officials from various municipalities within Greater Toronto who are extremely interested in having the stadium.
“With this financing we can now move to the next phase of selecting a site and securing further investors for this ambitious project,” he added. “It’s incredible to think there isn’t a stadium anywhere in North America where an internationally-sanctioned cricket match can be played. My vision is to change this with a world-class show for what we anticipate will be a world-wide television audience.”