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CPL looks to Canada

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The opening round of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament will be heading to Toronto, Canada, if the organisers have their way.


T&T Guardian understands that the organisers of the tournament Verus International are keen on staging the opening ceremony, as well as the first round of matches in Toronto.


A source said the organisers are anxious to get cricket into the North American market so they are taking their product to that country in order to get the people excited.


“At the end of the day this is big business, and after the successful opening last year, the organisers want to tap into the North American market. If they can get the clubs and cricket officials in Canada, excited about their product, then we may say a franchise coming out of Canada and playing in this league.


“This is a good move because it shows that the organisers are thinking about growing the league and not just sitting on their laurels after a successful first year.”


It is understood that they were initially looking at Miami but switched to Canada because of the early interest they are getting from that country. If they go through with this, the opening ceremony and three matches will be played in Canada. All the six franchises, Red Steel, Amazon Warriors, Hawksbills, Zouks, Tallawahs and Tridents will make the trip across and will each play on game. They return to the Caribbean for the rest of the tournament. 


This year’s tournament will be played from July 5 to August 8. The organisers are hoping the franchises will be able to attract top name cricketers.


Currently the franchises are meeting with commercial manager of the CPL, Jamie Stewart who is making the rounds of the Caribbean. 


On Friday, he was in T&T meeting with the stakeholders here and currently he is in Guyana, where he will meet with sponsors and officials of the Guyana Amazon Warriors—where he is expected to lay out Verus plans for the new season.