The founder of the company behind the upcoming Caribbean Premier League says the CPL must be able to capture the imagination of a global audience for it to become a financial success.
Ajmal Khan, founder of Verus Capital, said the eight million people living in small Caribbean economies were not enough to make the CPL a lucrative venture.
Khan, who is attempting to fashion the CPL to rival the T20 leagues of India and Australia, said Virus Capital was targetting global partners and audiences to ensure the tournament made money.
“The only way that this is going to be successful and be sustainable is if we can put together, basically, a global partnership, where the world will see this as a product not made for one market,” said Khan in an interview with ESPN CRICINFO.
“The first key thing that we need to do is to bring the local, the regional, and the international bodies and partners to be able to create the CPL into something where it becomes a global audience.”
CPL is a franchise-based operation which will have teams based in six territories and will include not just Caribbean cricketers but professionals from around the world.
CPL, which has already named six icon players for the tournament, said player contracts would be funded to the tune of $360,000.
According to reports, during an event by organisers in Barbados last month, many questions about the CPL’s operations were left unanswered, including who the franchise owners would be.
“I have a track record of what I’ve done in my life… I’m not a person who reneges on anything I do,” declared Khan whose company, Verus Capital, has from 1985 to 1993, acquired, and resold over US$2 billion in real estate properties, becoming the largest syndicator of properties in Canada.
“They’ve done enough due diligence on me to know there’s enough to run the league for the next number of years… to make sure every single player is paid. The CPL are going to be the ones to make sure that every single player it hires or it retains is going to be paid, for which I am responsible.”
The CPL, which replaces the Caribbean T20 tournament, is due to begin on July 29. (windiescricket)