Bridgetown, Barbados – Excitement, passion, colour and the cricketing excellence of the Caribbean will be showcased in one exhilarating package when the much anticipated inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL) T20 Tournament gets underway with a spectacular opening ceremony tonight, Tuesday, 30 July that will be streamed live on the LCPL website (www.cplt20.com).
Sir Garfield Sobers, arguably the greatest cricketer ever, will be joined by a host of dignitaries and officials – including Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, former Jamaica Prime Minister The Right Honourable PJ Patterson, Chairman of the LCPL Cricket Committee, LCPL CEO Damien O’Donohoe, Denis O’Brien, Chairman of Digicel, the tournament’s strategic partner and West Indies Cricket Board president Dave Cameron – as he officially declares the tournament open.
Kensington Oval, long considered “the Mecca” of cricket in the region, will be transformed into an array of carnival colour and flamboyance, as 450 costumed junior revellers parade alongside 90 school children adorned in the kits of the six franchise teams. They will be joined by a host of adult revellers, all helping to portray the Carnival atmosphere that the Limacol Caribbean Premier League will be transmitting across the globe in the coming weeks.
Jamaican reggae superstar Konshens and Trinidadian soca artiste KES will add energy to the already electric atmosphere when they deliver some of their biggest hits, before combining to perform the LCPL official anthem “How We Play”. Both artistes represent some of the most popular talent coming out of the Caribbean right now, and are gaining huge traction worldwide.
KES has performed all over the Caribbean, USA, Canada and Europe, also touching parts of Asia (Japan and China), and has opened for acts such as Musiq Soulchild, Sean Paul, Rihanna, John Legend, Maroon 5 and Evanescence. Konshens is just coming off a European tour that included shows in London, Sweden, Germany and Amsterdam, and has developed a large following in Japan.
Barbadian soca diva Allison Hinds – one of the most popular soca singers in the world and known as the Queen of Soca – will also add her special flavour to the evening when she takes to the stage to perform her repertoire of hit songs.
One of the highlights of the Opening Ceremony will be the unveiling of the official Limacol CPL ‘Roots’ Trophy which will be done amidst an electrifying fireworks display.
Speaking about the launch of the tournament, LCPL CEO Damien O’Donohoe said the energy and flair of the opening ceremony will typify the Limacol Caribbean Premier League and indeed be a fitting way to lift the curtain on the exciting event.
“The Limacol CPL is an historic undertaking, the likes of which the Caribbean has never seen before and as a result, we have pulled out all the stops to ensure the opening ceremony is a memorable one,” O’Donohoe said. “The LCPL will boast some of the finest players in international cricket and we thought it fitting to reflect this level of excellence in the ceremony, while also displaying the passion and the energy synonymous with Caribbean cricket.”
Sir Garry, the legendary former West Indies all-rounder and captain, said he was thrilled to be a part of history again.
“The Caribbean has been waiting for a tournament like this for a long time and I am pleased to see it finally come on stream in such a major way,” said Sir Garry, Barbados’ only living National Hero.
“I think the organisers must be commended for this venture and for putting the Caribbean on par with the international cricket community, with a Twenty20 tournament of this calibre.”
The opening ceremony will get underway at 6:30 pm but gates at the Oval will be open from 4:30 pm, with fans being entertained by DJ music.
Six franchises – Antigua & Barbuda Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana’s Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St. Lucia Zouks and Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel – will contest 24 matches across the six venues.
The final match will take place in Trinidad & Tobago on 24 August.