Regional stars part of Canadian multi-million dollar venture
TORONTO – The global Twenty20 cricket pie is about to get even bigger. And four West Indies international players are among the first to tap into the spread of franchise cricket’s shortest form of the game into the Canadian market.
Test captain Denesh Ramdin, One-Day International skipper Dwayne Bravo, former captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul and opening batsman Kieran Powell have signed a historic deal that will make them co-owners and stakeholders in the exciting, new and lucrative Canadian Premier League Twenty20 tournament. The deal comes ahead of the countdown to the inaugural tournament, with officials this week announcing that the tournament will commence on August 1, 2015.
Chief executive officer and chairman of the Canadian Premier League T20, Roy Singh, is slated to announce details soon of where the tournament will kick-off its inaugural season. The ten-team league will consist of professional cricketers from around Canada, alongside global cricketing superstars from across the world, league officials confirmed today.
On the eve of his signing as co-owner and stakeholder of the league, Ramdin, 29, who was recently appointed West Indies Test skipper and who captains the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the other CPL, the Caribbean Premier League, said he fully supported the growth and development of international-calibre T20 cricket through the Canadian Premier League and the direction being taken by Singh.
Ramdin, who has played his native Trinidad and Tobago over the past decade and has also captained the side added: “Roy has the vision, determination and drive to make this league truly successful and sustainable and I am thrilled to be coming on board as part of such a pioneering venture for the North American market.”
Like Ramdin, Powell has also been appointed a co-owner and stakeholder in the league and is looking forward to playing a crucial role in the tournament.
“These are exciting times for T20 cricket and it takes a visionary like Roy Singh to introduce this unique and exhilarating form of the game to the region, in what will be a first for this part of the world. It is indeed a privilege to be part of the Canadian Premier League,” the 24-year-old stated.
Their sentiments were echoed by Bravo, one of the most entertaining and in-demand names in global T20 cricket. He has been associated with the wealthy Chennai Super Kings franchise in the Indian Premier League over the past three years after being previously a member of the Mumbai Indians.
“The Canadian Premier League is already creating waves of excitement within the international cricketing community,” Bravo said. “What makes the league stand out is Roy Singh’s brilliance and initiative in carving out a niche market in this region and ensuring that the business model surrounding his league is based on longevity that centres around a real passion for growth and development of the game. I am looking forward to being part of this powerful venture.”
Singh conceptualized and created the Canadian Premier League in the summer of 2012 after recognizing the opportunity to expand cricket in Canada through the excitement and exhilaration of a glamorous Twenty20 league.
Singh said his group was looking to build a 35,000 seat state of the art indoor cricket stadium in Canada. The stadium would be the first purpose-built covered cricket facility in the world with a natural grass field and a fixed roof, according to those behind the project. It would be made available for use year-round and host international matches.
“CDN$700 million has already been raised for this,” Singh said, while noting that his group was currently in discussion with economic development officials from various municipalities within Greater Toronto who were extremely interested in having the stadium.
“With this financing we can now move to the next phase of selecting a site and securing further investors for this ambitious project. It’s incredible to think there isn’t a stadium anywhere in North America where an internationally-sanctioned cricket match can be played. My vision is to change this with a world-class show for what we anticipate will be a worldwide television audience,” the entrepreneur said.
The Canadian Premier League’s management committee includes Singh, Chanderpaul – a director of the company, Bravo, Ramdin and Powell, who will serve as co-owners. Also on board are former Toronto Star reporter, Bob Mitchell, who has been appointed president, and Emma Everett, managing agent to Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Kieran Powell and Sir Richie Richardson, who will serve as head of Global Player Operations.