Caribbean Premier League to have six teams, 90 players

The Caribbean Premier League, the first edition of which will begin on 29 July – has identified six potential franchise countries – Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago - according to a statement released by the league.

Each franchise will have a franchise player, chosen from among the top T20 players in the West Indies based on their stats and performances. The franchise player need not to be from the particular region he will represent. The players are: Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, and Sunil Narine

Chris Gayle heads the list of franchise players in the Caribbean Premier League. AFP

Chris Gayle heads the list of franchise players in the Caribbean Premier League. AFP

The CPL is also hoping to have one international franchise player per team as well. Each franchise will be allowed to contract 15 players, with a maximum of four international signings per team. Of the 11 West Indian players, at least six must be from the franchise country while four must be under the age of 23. “In the case of St. Lucia, locals are deemed to be any players from the Windward Islands, and cricketers from any of the Leeward Islands can be considered local players for Antigua,” the release said.

Each franchise will play the other five home and away in the group stage, making a total of 30 games. The group stage will be followed by an eliminator and a final.

The CPL agreement between Verus International and the West Indies board has been signed for 20 years. The tournament will replace the existing domestic Caribbean T20 tournament.

"The WICB is elated with the agreement, which will allow for regional retainer contracts for a broad pool of players,” WICB president Julian Hunte said. These contracts will be funded by the CPL to the tune of US$360,000 annually. This significant investment will truly allow for cricketers in the Caribbean to pursue their profession as professionals."

Meanwhile Ajmal Khan, the founder and chairman of the league, said, “the CPL will showcase the beauty and talent of the Caribbean to the world. The best cricketers that the West Indies has to offer playing alongside their international counterparts, coupled with celebrity appeal from Hollywood, Bollywood and local and international music talent with the carnival atmosphere for which the Caribbean is world-renowned and indeed envied, is sure to draw the attention of current and new cricket fans across the globe. We’re going to make sure that all eyes are on the shores of the Caribbean in July and August.”

The dates for the event – 29 July to 26 August – have been picked to ensure the CPL does not conflict with West Indies’ international or domestic commitments, as well as the IPL. All contracted players will be required to turn out for their franchises.