The inaugural Caribbean Premier League has been a marvellous spectacle of entertaining cricket, animated fans, party sounds and plenty of dancers.
Packed cricket stadia have become a rarity in the Caribbean but this tournament has inspired a new generation to attend matches in the future, especially in the 20 over format.
Cricket fans in the Cayman Islands have watched enraptured with the thrills and spills. No team has dominated, which is great for intrigue. Every game is unpredictable, which adds to the entertainment value.
Cayman events management company Kelly Holding are the media consultants at the CPL.
Now after three weeks of cut and thrust, the CPL has reached the semi-final stage.
Over the weekend, Chris Gayle’s all-round efforts helped Jamaica Tallawahs to a three-wicket victory over Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and secured their position as second in the group, tied on 10 points with Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Red Steel will play Guyana Amazon Warriors in the first semi-final on Thursday and Tallawahs face Barbados Tridents in the second semi on Friday, both at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Saturday’s final is there too.
Marlon Bryan is one of Cayman’s fastest bowlers. He said, “The Tallawahs against the Tridents is a very good match up. Tridents have a good chance providing they score about 140. But once you get Chris Gayle out early you can pull it off.”
Bryan feels that if Gayle makes over 60, then the game will swing towards Tallawahs, but he has flopped in his last two games. Bryan admits that Tallawahs have a strong batting line up with Danza Hyatt and Andre Russell able to make big knocks quickly, but he feels the Tridents will still pull through.
“To win the tournament though, I’m backing Guyana all the way, they seem to be the best in terms of consistency,” Caymanian Bryan said.
“Lendl Simmons usually gives them a flying start which guarantees a win. Sunil Narine’s spin bowling will definitely assist them and Ramnaresh Sarwan tends to give a good score as well.”
Bryan said the Warriors look likeliest to be champs and maintain Guyana’s proud record of always winning inaugural competitions.
Kevon Bazil is a fine all-rounder. A Guyanese national, there is only one team he is backing for the championship.
“I think it will be a Jamaica Tallawahs and Guyana Amazon Warriors final and Warriors will pull through,” he said.
“The younger Warriors guys will step up, players like Steven Jacobs, Christopher Barnwell and even Lasith Malinga at No. 9 can bat too.
“The pace bowlers won’t get anything from the wicket and it will favour spin, which Guyana is strong in.
“Everyone knows that if you get Gayle early, the team crumbles after that, so although I think they will get to the final, Guyana will beat them.”