The Willow in the WIndies – innings no. 34

3rd July 2016

The Caribbean cricket podcast

Episode 34 – The CPL is underway

Welcome to edition no. 34 of The Willow in the WIndies.

In this programme I was joined by our regular locum, Dr Andrew Forde while Reds was away in Guyana covering a basketball tournament. Andrew and I turned our attention immediately to the opening matches in the CPL, and news associated with the tournament:

St Kitts have been confirmed as the hosts of the tournament’s semi-finals and final, but our colleague, Terry Bent, author of the blog dedicated to the Barbados Tridents, is not happy! He’s upset that St Kitts is to host the final for the second time in the competition’s four seasons – the other two both having been in Trinidad.

Terry’s piece also shared some of the details of the St Kitts government’s acquisition of the final, as disclosed by the Deputy Prime Minister Shawn Richards when interviewed on a recent Mason & Guests show: Mr Richards said the government had paid USD$1.2 million to stage the games, ‘less than half of what they paid two tears ago’ – it being believed that the original asking price was USD$4.5 million. In addition, St Kitts will be ‘getting back USD$20,000 per game for rental of the stadium, and an undisclosed percentage of the gate receipts’, and ‘a donation towards education and sports from the CPL.’ Also, St Kitts, unlike the T&T government, is able to pay the CPL in US dollars. 

I confess the finances of the CPL do worry me. In a recent interview with ESPN Cricinfo, CPL CEO Damien O’Donohoe confirmed that the first three editions of the tournament have run at a loss – and that the tournament hopes to expand it’s market beyond this year’s matches in Florida to New York and Toronto. Personally, I share Terry’s view that this is a Caribbean competition, and that the USA and Canada are ‘not in the West Indies’.

Terry also emailed this week to refute a story suggesting that Reliance Industries’ Neeta Ambani is to buy Vijay Mallya’s stake in the Barbados Tridents as ‘rubbish’. Terry spoke directly with the Tridents’ CEO Dr Mallya’s son, Sid who denied the story: ‘The CPL says he has to ask for permission to sell the franchise – and he hasn’t,’ he said.

It was a busy week for Terry, who also blogged his dissatisfaction with the new kit for the Tridents, and their new name, Tridents, Pride of Barbados – which he says he will refuse to use!

Andrew and I went on to look back at the recent ODI tri-series, and West Indies’ ‘qualified success’ in the tournament, which has seen them climb in the ICC rankings. Captain, Jason Holder has called for WI to be playing more ODIs – but we wondered how practical this is?Australian coach Justin Langer was reported to be impressed by West Indies’ fast bowling stocks, but not by their pitches.

Elsewhere, Joel Garner has still not been officially confirmed as the new West Indies Manager – but assuming he is, will he stay on at the helm of the Barbados Cricket Association, and as a member of the WICB?

And we noted the passing of Trinidad & Tobago’s long-serving former Prime Minister, Patrick Manning. The WICB and Mia Mottley, who worked with him in the preparations for the 2007 World Cup, were among those who expressed their condolences.

And finally, we looked ahead to the upcoming match in Barbados celebrating the 80th birthday of Sir Garfield Sobers.

You can listen to the podcast here:

The Willow in the WIndies is now also available to download, and to subscribe to, from iTunes.

David Oram


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