The launch of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) after the first week has been deemed a success by the organizers and the public at large. There is no doubt, much to the chagrin of the cricket purists, that this is the form of the game which the public is prepared to support in great numbers. There can be no doubt that given the state of West Indies cricket it is the form of the game which our players seem to perform better than the other forms. Perhaps because it fits nicely with our natural attacking style.
To be expected the launch of the new CPL has had its little share of controversy. First the Central Bank of Barbados felt constrained to issue a warning that Venus International should not use the term ‘merchant bank’. Probably motivated by the Allen Stanford mess which still lingers. Venus International is the investment company which has been setup in Barbados under whose ambit the management of the CPL falls. And in recent days we have heard mutterings that the Trinidad franchise team which competes under the name Trinidad Red Steal should drop the name Trinidad and go by the name Red Steel only. The reason: Trinidad already owns a national team which has done well in Twenty20 cricket (Champions League) across the world, and is generally believed to have the best players.
To cap it off an Andre E Baptise has penned the most asinine article which appears in the Trinidad Guardian. After reading the column one understands why our little islands will remain insular and which will make pursuing functional cooperation a challenge in a global economy which demands it. The concept of franchising appears to elude the man.
Is should be obvious that West Indies cricket is struggling. International matches in the region have been attracting less that 1,000 spectators for the duration of a Test match which spans five days. The limited overs form of the game is also similarly affected, lack of fan support. Instead of publishing his myopic and jingoistic hogwash, Mr. Baptise should be asking the West Indies Cricket Board why it rushed to sign of on an agreement which ceded the rights to hosting the Twenty20 tournament to a foreign company (Verus International) for 50 years. A strange decision when one considers that the West Indies won the world Twenty20 Champions a few weeks after the signing. He should welcome an arrangement which encourages a wider participation of regional players in a professional setup. Instead he preferred to navel gaze and expose his pea size perspective.
Read the article and form your conclusion – CPL is doomed to fail