Twenty-six years after this country’s senior men’s football team, then known as the Strike Squad, lost a crucial Fifa World Cup qualifying game to the United States (1-0), on home soil, former...
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Fans to see 30 CPL matches in 2014
The tremendous success of the 2013 season left fans calling for more Caribbean Premier League (CPL) matches and their wish will be granted this year, as a total of 30 matches will be played in the 2014 season. Manager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors and former T&T and West Indies manager Omar Khan told T&T Guardian that the 2014 edition will bowl off on July 10 and end on August 16. He also added that there will an increase in the number of matches from 24 to 30, so that each of the six teams will play each other twice (on a home and away) basis. “One has to remember that the 2013 season was rushed and was a bit of a dry-run to see how things would work. It did work well and now the organisers can move in the direction of a bigger better tournament. “In 2013 some of the teams played other teams on more occasions, than they did others, now it has been settled and the teams will play each other on a home and away basis. This would lead to a better understanding of the structure and also more importantly more matches. We have a situation now where 30 matches are going to be played.
“The organisers have also agreed to have a grand opening and also a grand finish to the tournament. The opening weekend and the finals weekend will be open to bids from all the countries that have teams in the tournament,” he said. The 2014 season has been brought forward as the inaugural season started at the end of July. Now with the season starting earlier, many more international players will be available to come to the Caribbean for the tournament. The player draft will take place on March 12 in Barbados and teams will be allowed to retain at least six players from the last season. Khan also revealed that 25 countries took television coverage of the tournament in 2013 but now the organisers are targeting 50 countries so that the players would get greater exposure.
A total of 240,000 persons in the Caribbean witnessed the tournament live while some 36 million worldwide had the opportunity also to watch the games. The games were featured on 29 different television stations. A check with a local sponsor of the Red Steel revealed that owners of the team have already increased their value for sponsorship packages and this may well be as a result of the greater audience that would now be viewing the matches. Over the past week, officials of the CPL have been making the rounds of the Caribbean, meeting with all the team officials, to bring them up to scratch with the new season.
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