Caribbean cricket can hugely benefit from the CPL, says Michael Holding

Image courtesy of: The Telegraph

Holding is extremely interested in the CPL development programme

Legendary West Indian pace bowler Michael Holding has announced that the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) can be hugely beneficial for Caribbean cricket as it will help boost interest in the sport and increase attendances for future matches.

Holding, who is usually critical of limited overs cricket, added that the CPL will help create a whole new generation of cricketers and allow the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to scout for potential future talents.

“I think cricket has lost a lot of young people in the Caribbean who are thinking ‘why bother with cricket because unless you are playing for the West Indies then there is nothing there for you’,” Holding said. “The advent of the CPL means West Indian youngsters can now think to themselves ‘hey, I can make a reasonably good living from playing cricket.’ Now there is something here in the Caribbean they can play in, they can make a reasonable living and they can go on and play cricket again.”

The CPL is scheduled to take place between July 29 and August 26 and will feature six Caribbean nation franchises, which are Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago.

Each franchise will have a maximum of 15 players on their roster and will be given one iconic local player and one international superstar as well.

During matches, each franchise must have at least four players under the age of 23 on the field at all times and can have a maximum of four international players representing them at any one time as well.

The six international powerhouses confirmed for the CPL are former Australia captain Ricky Ponting and his long-time teammate Adam Gilchrist, New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, Pakistan Twenty20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez, South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs and Sri Lanka spin maestro Muttiah Muralitharan.

The six local iconic players are Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels.

Holding also revealed that the CPL were planning to host a “development programme” which will be aimed at helping local youngsters from each of the six franchise nations.

“The CPL is looking at a development programme which they will start rolling out in January 2014, I understand,” Holding said. “They will have about 60 young cricketers, 10 from each of the six franchise regions, who they will put on contract and create programmes to improve their cricket. That is what I am interested in.”

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