COVE SPRING HOUSE, Barbados (CMC) — A new franchise-based Twenty20 tournament, 'The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) was launched in Barbados yesterday, organisers Verus International have announced.
The CPL will comprise each franchise team being built around Caribbean players complemented by a few international high-calibre star players from abroad, said Verus, a merchant bank based in Barbados and New York.
The CPL is expected to be beamed across the world in a high-definition first-class production and officials say the tournament will also be a showpiece attraction designed to enhance the Caribbean's tourism product.
"The realisation of the CPL is another landmark of the investor and commercial confidence which has been placed in the WICB and the brand of West Indies Cricket" declared West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President Dr Julian Hunte.
"The WICB is particularly pleased about the opportunities the CPL will provide to players but is equally elated with the agreement which will allow for regional retainer contracts for a broad pool of players."
Dr Hunte was among officials present at the launch including CEO of Verus International, Ajmal Khan, WICB CEO Michael Muirhead and a host of legends of the game and cricket officials and administrators.
"This will truly allow for cricketers in the Caribbean to pursue their profession as professionals and not as semi-professionals or amateurs," Dr Hunte said.
"This, we at the WICB believe, will allow for the strengthening and development of the game as while the CPL is a Twenty20 league, the benefits that will accrue, specifically through the regional retainer contracts, will extend to other formats of the game."
The CPL will soon be announcing its tournament dates, locations and partners in 2013 as well as launching their website.
Verus International was founded by Chairman and CEO Ajmal Khan and says it invests its capital directly into companies and provides merchant banking and advisory services for a select group of strategic partners.
"We are pleased to announce our long-term partnership and investment in the Caribbean here today. We are honoured to be in the position to partner with a region so rich in cricket history and tradition," Khan said.
"As the T20 World Champions, it is fitting that a high quality, well-financed franchise-based T20 League be solidified in the West Indies that will showcase the best of its cricket talent."