As the Caribbean Premier League draft took place today and players were selected to the six franchise teams, fans around the world logged on to the CPL, www.cplt20.com and the CPL Facebook page, www.facebook.com/carnivalt20, and followed intently on Twitter @cpl_t20 to see which players would be recruited to which teams.
The CPL social media networks were abuzz as some fans applauded the choices of the team selection panels and others debated the compositions of some of the squads.
The CPL website was blown away by hundreds of thousands of visitors which caused a slow down for a short period, showing the mass appeal the CPL will have across the globe.
CPL officials rectified this quickly and populated all the pages on the site with all the players who were selected, so fans could find out their teams in real time. In addition, all of the players have been personally emailed and congratulated on their selection.
“We were overwhelmed by the level of interest in the draft, not only regionally but internationally, evidenced by the huge volume of traffic on our website and social media sites,” said Damian O’ Donohoe, CPL CEO. “It’s obvious that the world is eager to see who’s ‘coming to play’ this summer, and we are looking forward to an exciting tournament now that we know exactly who will be playing on each team.”
There is a 24-hour window in which teams can make trades amongst themselves, noted O’Donohoe, and any changes will be announced shortly after they are made.
“Obviously this was our first draft for the Caribbean Premier League and we are pleased to say that the process went extremely well,” added O’Donohoe. “Each team was well prepared and made very thoughtful, strategic selections but they also enjoyed the experience.”
Team Antigua was represented by West Indies franchise player Marlon Samuels (via Skype), Head Coach Sir Vivian Richards and Assistant Coach Phillip DeFreitas.
Team Barbados’ Head Coach Desmond Haynes and Assistant Coach Robin Singh (via Skype) were supported by West Indies franchise player Kieron Pollard who also participated via Skype and Barbados CPL Media and Administration Officer Jason Harper.
Guyana franchise player Sunil Narine (via Skype) worked with Head Coach Roger Harper, Assistant Coach Curtly Ambrose and Guyana CPL Media and Administration Officer Omar Khan to select their team while Jamaica’s franchise player Chris Gayle (via Skype) and CPL Media and Administration Officer Richard Berridge (via Skype) gave their input to Head Coach Paul Nixon and Assistant Coach Junior Bennett.
Franchise player Darren Sammy (via Skype), Head Coach Andy Roberts and Assistant Coach Matthew Maynard selected the St Lucia franchise team and Trinidad & Tobago franchise player Dwayne Bravo (via Skype) worked with Head Coach Gordon Greenidge, Assistant Coach David Williams and CPL Media and Administration Officer Colin Borde to choose the Trinidad & Tobago team.
Held at the Half Moon Bay Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica the atmosphere in the room was electric. It was of course a competitive draft, but those selecting their teams were well prepared, making the first event of its kind to ever happen in the Caribbean a real success.
Utilising technology to overcome the fact that the West Indies Franchise players were in London at the time of the draft, CPL officials ensured that all were connected to their selection team by skype throughout the draft. All the players were pleased with the ability to be involved every step of the way in their team selection.
Trinidad & Tobago Franchise players Dwayne Bravo voiced it best on behalf of all, stating, “I really enjoyed the entire draft process. I can’t wait for the CPL to get started, and I love my team!”
The compilation of the teams followed the rules established prior to the event, ensuring at least two Under-23 players on each team, that was not an issue for any of the teams, most of the Under 23’s were chosen early in their draft pool and two teams actually have three Under 23 players, Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados.
The seven local player requirement was also easily achieved, with two teams having ten, St. Lucia and Jamaica and two having eight, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago.
The draft also validated clearly the cricket talent that is present in the Caribbean by the selection of all the West Indies players in the first pool, with teams passing on some of the international players that were available. Five of the teams chose only three of the four international players they could have selected for their teams.
The Most Honourable PJ Patterson, Walter Scott, QC and Lance Gibbs of the CPL Cricket Committee oversaw the draft process. Former Jamaican Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe and former PricewaterhouseCoopers Senior Partner Tony Lewars were appointed by the Tournament Committee to officiate the proceedings and Raymond Reece acted as Tabulator.
Observers included West Indies Cricket Board President Michael Muirhead; Michael Hall, CEO of the West Indies Players Association; CPL CEO Damien O’Donohoe; Tournament Committee members Zorol Barthley and Conde Riley; CPL Board members and representatives from CPL major sponsor Digicel.
The event was hosted by CPL Event Director Laurie-Ann Holding and IMG’s Michael Fordham. O’Donohoe says next on the agenda is the announcement of the team names and captains.
To see the full list of teams, visit http://cplt20.com/draft.
The inaugural Caribbean Premier League starts on 30 July in Barbados and concludes on 24 August in Trinidad.
Add St. Lucia News Online on Blackberry Messenger (2A983D96); follow us on Twitter (twitter.com/slunewsonline) and like us on Facebook (facebook.com/stlucianewsonline) for breaking stories and news as it is posted.