This week saw the return of the latest 20/20 league season with the Caribbean Premier league kicking off in the early hours of Thursday evening. It is now in its sixth season and like with many of the new leagues around the world has grown in stature and status throughout the last few years. With many 20 over specialists making themselves available for the tournament. The tournament is well supported by the West Indian public with filled stadiums and the unique atmosphere and vibe provided by cricket in the Caribbean.
As usual with the packed schedule in the cricket calendar the tournament will be missing a vast array of talent from India and England who are currently locked in a test series and will be for the coming months. There is the fascinating return to the fold, in front of a big audience of Steve Smith and David Warner – the two Australian stars banned from the test arena for their part in the ball tampering scandal in South Africa.
Along with the vast array of international talent on show, 20 over leagues such as the CPL have also been a breeding ground for exciting young talent and a real chance for young West Indian cricketers to announce themselves on the international stage.
Before a bowl is bowled it’s always a bit uncertain how sides will line up with a limit on overseas players in an XI and what combination of batting line ups and bowling attacks sides will go with for their match’s. With all sides having a mixture of world class stars and promising but relatively unknown local talent its quite interesting to see how the bookies view certain sides and individual’s prices which can sometimes provide some good value with bookmakers not having much history to make judgements.
Another factor is the surfaces to be played on with everyone from batsman, bowlers and teams having to judge conditions quickly and work out what a good score is and again with regards to betting a case of judging the individual’s grounds and which sides and player are likely to be best suited to the different surfaces.
All of which should make the opening salvos of the CPL worth watching and how the tournament progresses.
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