“They are looking forward to the party, the music, the beautiful ladies coming out to watch the game, and the cheerleaders. You have a beer or you have some rum – you can choose which one you want. Everyone will be drinking something for sure and then after the game it’s a big party.”
Chris Gayle is not inviting you to a party at his favourite bar in Kingston, Jamaica. He is inviting you to the Caribbean Premier League, which starts on Saturday.
And after a long wait, the Caribbean Premier League shall begin this weekend. The atmosphere shall resemble that of a carnival, and the sun shall be shining brightly – what more can we ask for at a cricket tournament? It is sure to be a spectacle for the cricket lovers all around the world.
That sense of fun has attracted some of the biggest names in cricket such as Daniel Vettori, Mahela Jayawardene, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor, not to forget some great cricketers from the Caribbean itself – Gayle and Pollard. Apart from being in a different part of the world, one can’t spot many differences between the CPL and IPL – and the pedigree of players is certainly similar. As is expected, the main difference would be that rather than Bhangra music we’ll have Calypso music!
For the fans, it promises to be quite entertaining as the grounds are small and the electric aura will surely add zing to this exciting tournament along with some high caliber cricket and the after-party vibe. The players love it and that kind of enthusiasm is infectious and it simply rubs off on everybody. Cricket in the Caribbean has always been a unique experience. The quality of West Indies cricket might have dropped in the last decade, but the desire to sit and lime in the stands at the various famous grounds remains one of most appealing things to do for a global cricket fan.
The super hype about this tournament can be proved by confirmed news that both Hollywood and Bollywood actors have started investing in franchises. In the inaugural year, 2013, Mark Wahlberg bought a stake in defending champions Barbados Tridents, while Scotsman Gerald Butler bought a stake in the Gayle-lead Jamaica Tallawahs. But the biggest shot in the arm for the CPL came at the outset of this season, when it was revealed that Shah Rukh Khan and his Kolkata Knight Riders co-owners were in the process of owning the entire Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel franchise. Also the Hero Group, decided to become the title sponsor for this year’s tournament. The defending champions, Barbados Tridents led by Kieron Pollard, shall start as favourites.
Know your Caribbean teams!!
Captain: Kieron Pollard, Coach: Robin Singh
Overseas players: Shoaib Malik, Robin Peterson, Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera
Guyana Amazon Warriors
Captain: Denesh Ramdin, Coach: Carl Hooper
Overseas players: Brad Hodge, Tillakratne Dilshan, Thisara Perera, Marchant de Lange
Captain: Chris Gayle, Coach: Junior Bennett
Overseas players: Daniel Vettori, Mahela Jayawardene, Chris Lynn, Rusty Theron
St Lucia Zouks
Captain: Darren Sammy, Coach: Stuart Williams
Overseas players: Kevin Pietersen, Ross Taylor, Henry Davids
Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel
Captain: Dwayne Bravo, Coach: Simon Helmot
Overseas Players: Jacques Kallis, Johan Botha, Cameron Delport, Kamran Akmal
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Captain: Marlon Samuels, Coach: Eric Simons
Overseas players: Shahid Afridi, Martin Guptill, Sohail Tanvir, Tabraiz Shamsi
Edited By : Akanksha Agarwal