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Caribbean Premier League: Divided by franchises, united by entertainment
The Indian Premier league has given birth to many T20 cricket leagues around the world. Add to that list, Caribbean Premier League, which is scheduled to kick off from 29 July to 26 August in the West Indies.

The competition is set to feature six franchises (countries), namely Barbodas, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Trinadad and Tobago, and Antigua and Barbuda, for which the team owners, captains, players are still to be announced. It is businessman Ajmal Khan who would be founding the league. He is also the chairman of the league. It is on May 24 that the players' draft is going to take place determining which franchise the players are going to represent. There will be a total of 90 players contracted for the tournament, which means a team would comprise of 15 players each.

The Caribbean Premier League has been modeled like the IPL with a team allowing a maximum of only four foreign players on the field of play, four out of the 15 must be under 23 and the rest - regional, local players. The matches are going to be played in group and a playoff stage, where the later stage will include eliminator and final.

But there are few international players who have already confirmed their participation in the league such as Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist from Australia, New Zealand's Ross Taylor, Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez, South African Herschelle Gibbs and the latest entry is the Sri Lankan spin legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. Apart form these players, six West Indian players - Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels have confirmed their participation, reported PTI.

With the way, the West Indian players have taken the world by storm in this IPL, especially Chris Gayle, Dwayne Smith, Bravo, Kieron Pollard, a high voltage competition can be expected with a proper mix of foreign and local players. It would not be surprising if this league surpasses IPL on the sheer entertainment value, especially off the field.

If cricket is considered to be a religion in India, it is more or less like a party in the Caribbean, where fans put on different colourful attire and make cricket more than a game. They would be dancing and cheering their teams to samba tunes in the stands. Irrespective of the result, more or less, they would be seen rejoicing and having a time of their lives and the T20 format just gives them that extra license to do so.

This competition could not have come at the right time for the Caribbean cricketers as they have for long been a submissive side as compared to their teams of the past led, which included players such as Sir Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd, Joel Garner, Malcom Marshall, and Michael Holding. This league may well encourage cricketers from the Caribbean to pick up a bat and ball and play along side the beaches of Caribbean for a start and pursue the game seriously later as a cricketer. The Caribbean League may well also make the cricket board richer and help in the overall development of the game in West Indies. A strong and a mighty West Indies cricket team only augers well for international cricket.

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