International cricket is in Lauderhill to stay.
That’s the word from Hero Caribbean Premier League Tournament Operations Director, Michael Hall. He was in South Florida recently to tie up loose ends before first-round matches in the tournament which bowls off August 4 at Central Broward Regional Sports Park.
“International T20 cricket is here to stay. Not only do we think so, but so does the ICC (International Cricket Council). Their mandate is to develop the sport here in North America and the WICB (West Indies Cricket Board) are the custodians of cricket here in North America,” Hall told Caribbean National Weekly.
All six teams – St. Lucia Stars, Trinbago Knight Riders, Jamaica Tallawahs, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors and St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots – will be on show. According to Hall, the ICC is determined to see cricket grow in North America.
“There is a developmental element in why we came to North America,” he said.
The biggest names in West Indian cricket are involved this season. They include Jamaican Chris Gayle, the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in this format of the game; his compatriot Marlon Samuels, Trinidadians Kerion Pollard, the Bravo brothers, Dwayne and Darren, and Samuel Badree; former West Indies and Windward Islands captain Darren Sammy and Johnson Charles, who is also from the Windwards.
There are also players from Sri Lanka, England, Australia and New Zealand.
Last year, some 30,000 fans witnessed the inaugural staging of the Hero CPL in South Florida. Six matches were played at Central Broward Park, bringing in almost $5 million.