Sammy says “time is right” for Caribbean Premier League

Castries, St Lucia – West Indies captain Darren Sammy has welcomed the Caribbean Premier League, saying "the time is right" for such an event to be staged in the cricket-loving region.

The allrounder, who led the West Indies to the title at the ICC World T20 tournament in Sri Lanka, was speaking after the CPL was officially launched on the scenic west coast of Barbados on Monday afternoon.

"The time is right for the Caribbean Premier League. Cricketers across the Caribbean will benefit from this immensely. I, for sure, am looking forward to participating in the tournament. It promises to be some great entertainment, which players and the spectators will all enjoy," the skipper said.

"For a while now people have been calling for a franchise-based tournament of this nature in the West Indies. The time has come and I know the players across the region will embrace and readily accept the new concept.

"This is a special time in West Indies cricket as we launch what promises to be one of the best tournaments on the cricket calendar. It comes at a time when we in the West Indies are kings of the Twenty20 format. We are the world champions and we have some of the best players in the world. Our players have created an impact all across the globe," added Sammy, who celebrates his 29th birthday on Thursday.

The Caribbean Premier League, which was officially launched on Monday by Verus International, will be city-based.

Present at the launch were West Indies Cricket Board President, Dr Julian Hunte, and Chairman and CEO of Verus International, Ajmal Khan, who formally announced the ground-breaking licence agreement for the league.

Comprising the best of West Indies cricket talent, each franchise team will be built around local Caribbean cricketers complemented by a few international, high-calibre star players from abroad.

"What is also exciting for me is the number of young cricketers who could benefit from this new initiative. The WICB has done some good work on the grassroots and developmental programmes, and with additional funding more players will have a chance in cricket and in life," Sammy said.

"People across the world love the West Indies brand of cricket and the way West Indians enjoy the game and celebrate their culture. All this and more will be on show."