Details of the upcoming Caribbean Premier League player draft, the names of the remaining international players and the West Indies elite players and the CPL television ads was just some of the information revealed in a press conference held in Barbados by CPL officials that was streamed live around the world on the tournament website, and attended by the West Indies Cricket team who are in a camp ahead of the Champions Trophy League.
With presentations made by CPL Operations Manager, Carlisle Powell, Kieran Foley, Digicel Group Marketing Operations Director, CPL Commercial Director Jamie Stewart and CPL Event Director Rhonda Kelly, members of the media were told that the player draft will take place on 5 June in Jamaica, and the draft process was clarified.
Powell explained that each team will have a selection committee consisting of the Head Coach, Assistant Coach, the West Indies Franchise Player and the International Franchise Player, and that together these four members of the team selection committee will plan and formalise their strategy and picks for each round going into the official draft.
Attendees also learned that there are three pools of players – A, B and C – who will be a part of the draft. Pool A players are those who have played international cricket, and are considered top players based on their current form while Pool B players are cricketers who play mostly regional cricket although they may have also played at the international level. Pool C consists of developing, talented under-23 players from across the region.
Powell announced the West Indies Pool A players as Andre Russell, Darren Bravo,
Denesh Ramdin, Dwayne Smith, Fidel Edwards, Johnson Charles, Kemar Roach, Kieran Powell, Lendl Simmons, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Ravi Rampaul, Samuel Badree, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Tino Best.
The International Pool A players are confirmed to be Aaron Finch (Aus),
Albie Morkel (South Africa), Daniel Vettori (NZ), Dirk Nannes (Aus), Luke Pomersbach (Aus), Shakib al Hasan (Ban), Shaun Marsh (Aus), Shoaib Malik (Pak),
Steven Smith (Aus), Tamim Iqbal (Ban), Umar Akmal (Pak) and Vernon Philander (South Africa).
International Pool B players will be Elton Chigumbura of Zimbabwe, Davy Jacobs (South Africa), Justin Kemp (South Africa), James Franklin (NZ), Mark Guptil (NZ) and Kevin O’Brien (IRL) while the West Indies Pools B and C are some 200 players strong, and listed on the CPL T20 website (www.cplt20.com).
“We have secured a broad selection of cricket talent that we feel will appeal to cricket fans everywhere,” said Jamie Stewart, CPL Commercial Director. “The variety of players, from the experienced and well-established to the rising star on the cricket scene should make the inaugural CPL an exciting tournament that showcases the best of the best.”
CPL Event Director Rhonda Kelly announced that the marketing and advertising campaign would begin in earnest across the region, inviting everyone to come and play in July and August. A number of teaser ads were shown to the audience which were met with applause.
Digicel’s Kieran Foley says that as CPL’s major sponsor, the company is pulling out all the stops to create major buzz and excitement around the CPL T20 tournament, and have made a significant investment in a marketing campaign that will include advertising, public relations and promotional activities.
“We have lots of competitions and promotions to bring the fans as close as possible to the CPL T20 experience,” said Foley. “We will be complementing CPL’s marketing efforts by bringing Carnival T20 to the host markets and adding to the in-stadium spectacular with the best of music, dancing and entertainment that the Caribbean has to offer.”
Digicel will also be providing prizes by way of promotions on its Digicel Cricket website www.digicelcricket.com and tying in with the CPL website, Foley shared. Fans can win the chance to present the CPL Man of the Match award or participate in the Coin Toss. They will also be able to text to win the CPL Party Pass with smart phones and limo transfers to the stadium; win a trip to the CPL finals; participate in the “Name the Mascot” competition on CPL’s social media channels; and win a meet and greet with the stars of CPL.
Powell also took the opportunity to update the media on his recent visits with the six cricket boards, the venue owners and operators and the Ministers of Sports and Tourism in each country.
“I have had an opportunity to tour each venue to assess what each facility has to offer and what will be needed from a CPL standpoint to meet our goals and objectives for the tournament,” explained Powell. “I feel confident now that all of the cricket boards are better informed and more aware of all our preparations. The foundation for a solid working relationship has been established and I know I can call on each of them to assist us with the operations and logistics in their respective countries.”
Powell said that CPL is also working with the West Indies Cricket Umpires Association to secure regional umpires who will work alongside a group of international umpires. The majority of umpires will be from the region, which Powell says is a testament to the calibre of cricket knowledge and talent that is present in the West Indies.
Kelly says that the team names, the assignments of franchise players to franchise countries and the results of the player draft will all be announced soon.