The Birth of The Biggest Party in Sports
The year was 2010, when the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), first announced the introduction of a regional Twenty20 Tournament (T20). That first year, the tournament included seven domestic teams and one international team and was contested only in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. The winner of the tournament automatically became the West Indies representative for the Champions League Twenty20 tournament – i.e. the annual international T20 competition. However, owing to a number of factors, including poor viewership, lack of audience interest, low sponsorship, etc. the Champions League Twenty20 tournament was effectively canceled in 2015.
However, just two years prior, the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) was created, with its inaugural tournament to be played July 29, 2013. With a format of six franchise teams and 90 contracted players, the tournament would become the region’s premier Twenty20 competition. And thus, the Hero CPL T20 tournament was born. And in just five short years of existence, the tournament has become a marque-sporting event around the Caribbean region, dubbing itself the “Biggest Party in Sports”.
So how did the tournament become so widely revered across the region in such a short span of time? It is said that the key factors to any successful sporting league that will attract viewers and top players alike are atmosphere and passion. And the CPL Tournament delivers these in spades. Mixing a carnival-like atmosphere, complete with dancers, music, local cultural expressions with the region’s most beloved sport and its top players, has resulted in a winning combination.
For the international cricket fans, the tournament offers a winning combination of international and regional cricket stars, an atmosphere and passion that is attractive to many, all tied into the beauty that the islands have to offer. With all of these elements, it’s no surprise that the CPL T20 tournament has grown into a hotly anticipated event across the region.
The tournament’s reach and interest level have also been significantly assisted with the ever-growing list of international media coverage, as well as the varying use of social media channels. For example, in a very lucrative partnership with social media giant Twitter, for the first time in the tournament’s history, all the matches will be streamed live on the channel, across 54 countries. This is a move that is sure to continue the growing popularity and success of the tournament.
This year’s tournament has already brought plenty of excitement in its first twelve matches, with past champions Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders tied at the top of the leaderboard and both looking poised to have another excellent run at the title. Whatever happens, it is sure to be a fun and exciting show for cricket fans across the region.
Featured Image Credit – CPL T20 LTD