It was easy to lure big names for CPL 2016 - Tom Moody
Former Australian batsman and International Director of Cricket in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Tom Moody expressed that it was easy to attract the top Twenty20 stars to participate in the upcoming edition of the tournament.
The CPL, which is widely regarded as the biggest party in cricket, is the showpiece T20 tournament in the Caribbean islands.
In the recent years, the CPL has grown in stature to become one of the top T20 leagues in the world alongside the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash League (BBL).
In the 2016 IPL, Moody was the head coach of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise, which won its maiden title by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final.
Moody admitted that being involved in a victorious and hard fought IPL campaign was a career highlight for him.
“It was definitely career highlight to be involved in a successful IPL campaign,” Moody told cplt20.com.
“The IPL, as we all know, is a big tournament and to end up winning what is a pretty hard-fought battle, and get the reward at the end of it is a real bonus for all involved in the campaign.”
In the upcoming edition of the CPL, top names in the game like AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson and Brendon McCullum will feature in the tournament for the first time.
The 50-year-old reasoned that the immense growth of the CPL made it very easy for the organisers of the tournament to attract the top players.
“I think it's enormous (boost to the tournament)," added Moody.
“I obviously spoke to all of these players (AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara and Shane Watson) with regard to getting involved in the CPL in 2016 and it wasn’t a hard sell.
“The best players in the world want to play in this tournament because they have heard a lot of positive things about the tournament, they’ve heard how successful it’s been, they’ve heard how competitive it’s been and the best players want to play in the best tournaments.
“It’s as simple as that.
“To lure the likes of McCullum, de Villiers, Watson and whoever it might have been to this tournament, and it’s littered with big international names, was a reasonably easy task purely because of what the CPL has managed to build over the last three years.”
Furthermore, Moody observed that all the teams in the 2016 CPL have strong squads which makes for a very competitive and exciting tournament.
“There’s no doubt that every side was very shrewd through the Draft process and recruited very well. You can’t pick a winner.
“In the past you could have hinted that maybe the (Barbados) Tridents and the (Jamaica) Tallawahs were destined to play Finals cricket.
“But you look at the teams now and it’s very hard to pick a top two. And that’s very exciting for the tournament.
“There’s nothing better than having all six teams towards the back end of the tournament vying for the Finals.”
Tournaments like the IPL, BBL and the NatWest T20 Blast have helped youngsters in their respective countries to showcase their skills while rubbing shoulders with the elite international cricket stars.
Moody is confident that through the CPL, many young and upcoming West Indies cricketers will be able to make a name for themselves with strong performances in the tournament.
“For me the CPL is one pathway where players, right from the Under-19’s level through to domestic players, who might not get the light shone on them during the summer, can launch their careers.
“We’ve seen it before in the IPL with young Indians, and in Australia with young Australians (in the Big Bash).
“And it should really be no different in the Caribbean where the CPL can be a vehicle for young players to be really highlighted on the big stage because they’re playing against some of the best players in the world.
“If they can stack up against those players and perform consistently and really shine over the tournament, it’s a real launching pad for them into their career.”
This year, a part of the CPL will be hosted in Florida with a total of six matches scheduled at the venue to be played between 28th and 31st July.
With all the six teams in action over four days in Florida, Moody said that it was an exciting opportunity for the CPL to introduce the shorter format of the game to the American people.
“I think it’s a very exciting opportunity for the CPL to introduce a formal, vibrant and successful tournament to the American market.
“We know it’s going to be very diverse, in terms of the audience, and that’s the exciting thing.
“We’ll be introducing the game to some new people and we’re going to be bringing the game to people that have been starved of live cricket.
“I can see a lot of people travelling from far and wide just to capture a few days’ cricket and, to me, it’s a really exciting opportunity for the players of the Caribbean and the internationals who are involved to really showcase their skills and put on a show in that week were in Florida.”
The 2016 CPL will get underway on 29th June with Trinbago Knight Riders taking on the St Lucia Zouks in Trinidad.
© Cricket World 2016