Hollywood elite hooked on CPL

The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League has been hailed by organizers and players as a huge success.

The tournament ended Saturday night in front of a full house at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad with the Jamaica Tallawahs crowned champions after beating the Guyana Amazon Warriors by seven wickets with 15 balls in hand.

The media consultants were Cayman events company Kelly Holding and Rhonda Kelly, Laurie-Ann Holding and Beverly Sinclair coordinated it all.

A spectacular fireworks display, confetti, champagne and pyrotechnics, followed by a free concert featuring soca stars Super Blue, Iwer George, Denise Belfon, Blaxx and Black Stalin, ended an event packed with entertainment, excitement and action.

It was the culmination of 24 matches over 26 days, involving six franchise teams from across the region, with matches played out at packed venues.

West Indies players like Andre Russell for the Jamaica Tallawahs established themselves and international stars like Lasith Malinga added luster to the event.

“We have exceeded every benchmark we set for the Limacol Caribbean Premier League when we embarked on this project,” said the Limacol CPL Chief Executive Damien O’Donohoe. “By every measure, there is no doubt it has been a massive success.

“For the first time in many years, venues in the Caribbean have been consistently packed to the rafters and the atmosphere the fans have generated has been incredible.

“The staggering public support has been matched by unprecedented commercial support, the like of which this region has never seen for a cricketing event, with local and international business joining the party,” O’Donohue said.

Even before a ball was bowled, 37 commercial partners were secured as well as four national tourism boards.

Also, A-listers in entertainment and business also got involved, with Hollywood actors Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler taking equity shares in the Barbados Tridents and Jamaica Tallawahs respectively, while Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group backed the Antigua Hawksbills.

Jamaica Tallawahs captain Chris Gayle summed up the feelings of players from each of the six franchises when he said: “It has been a great tournament and I am really happy to be here at the end.

“I give thanks to the fans for turning out and supporting us. I am very happy with the Limacol CPL and, hopefully, next year it will be even bigger and better – and I will be here again.”

Ramnaresh Sarwan, the captain of the Guyana Amazon Warriors added: “I was fortunate to play in the IPL a few years ago, but I think this league is right up there and I can only see it getting bigger and better.”