Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Much for organisers to improve in CPL
Well the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament has ended and it is clear that it was a tremendous success. Covering the tournament extensively in four different countries and witnessing four different cultures, I must say that the CPL appealed to all and at this point I will like to share my two cents in the entire thing and probably provoke a few ideas that the organisers might consider moving foward. While the CPL was an overall tremendous success there were areas where better could have been done and I am sure that the CPL committee will be looking at all areas and trying to make the tournament even bigger and better in 2014. Firstly as a journalist covering the tournament, I thought that the experience was rather pleasant. Our media official here in T&T, Abigail Edwards, was very efficient indeed. What stood out about her was the fact that she never set out to be heavy handed. She encouraged dialogue amongst the journalists when it came to times for press conferences and in general the things that would have made them comfortable.
I thought the Barbadian media official, Kevin Pile, was also extremely efficient and well organised in his approach to dealing with the media. Everything media-wise was like clockwork where Pile was concerned and he never got flustered when many came calling for assistance. I would personally like to thank both Edwards and Pile for their assistance and excellent work during the tournament. I think that moving forward though the organisers might want to improve on certain other aspects off the field. The inter-island travel was a bit of a problem. I think the initial idea of having a chatered plane would have been brilliant. However, this did not materialise and while Caribbean Airlines did a very good job, Liat fell down on the routes they had to deal with. There was an instance where the St Lucia Zouks were left sitting at the airport for nine hours. This must be improved because as time goes by the players and officials would grow rather frustrated. On the field of play, I was disappointed with the general standard of the pitches. The only pitch that was conducive to good T20 cricket was the one at Sir Viv Richards ground in Antigua. The others were slow and offered too much assistance to the spinners. Imagine Shakib Al Hasan taking six wickets in a T20 international at Kensington Oval of all places. I think that the organisers should put together a pitches committee and they should get to work way before the tournament starts. When you walk into the grounds, there are sponsors giving out signs with fours and sixes written on it, not wickets. People come to see boundaries not men struggling to make runs.
The umpiring in my opinion left a lot to be desired. I remember in one of the many instances a batsman took evasive action at the Queen’s Park Oval. The ball thundered into his midsection, he ran a single and was sent back by the umpire and “dead” ball signalled. At times even when players were in their ground, the third umpire gave them out. This has to improve because the world is watching us. Some of the umpires did a fair job but overall the umpiring was a sore point for me. I think the format of this tournament needs to be looked at. Seven preliminary matches is too little. What the organisers should do is extend the tournament, so that each franchise play every other match on a home and away basis. In this way, you would have ten matches and not seven. Then the situation which arose this time around with some teams playing others twice, while playing other teams once, would not happen. This was puzzling and I understand that because of travel logistics it was done like this. However, if the organiser chartered planes for the tournament, then they could have the home and away format. I also think that the winners in the preliminary stages should have two chances to make the finals. There should be a qualifying finals, where the first plays and the second and then a clash between third and fourth. The loser in the qualifying final should then play the winner of the clash between the third-place team and the fourth-place team. This is done in the Indian Premier League and is an excellent idea. My final sore point is the choice of foreign stars. I think the organisers did their best with what was available to them but now with an auction replacing a draft for the next tournament, team owners can now look worldwide for better T20 practioneers out there. Having given some of my ideas for improvement, let me again thank the organisers for their vision and congratulate them for an excellent start. They have gotten off the mark with a four, hopefully they can hook one into the stands in 2014.
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