St. George’s (Grenada): Last year’s losing finalists Guyana Amazon Warriors will raise the curtain on the second edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) along with Antigua Hawksbills in the opening match of the tournament here Friday.
The match is expected to be an intriguing contest, with West Indies Test captain Denesh Ramdin leading an Amazon Warriors side that includes mystery West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine, and in-form opener Lendl Simmons, reports CMC.
Hawksbills, meanwhile, will be skippered by West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels and features highly rated Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal and Australia batsman David Hussey.
While Amazon Warriors will be looking to go one better after losing in last year’s final to champions Jamaica Tallawahs, Hawksbills will be looking to rebound from their dismal campaign when they won just two of their seven preliminary round games.
The match, scheduled for 2 p.m. at the National Stadium, will be preceded by the official opening ceremony. For Grenada, it will be the first time hosting CPL matches after missing out last year.
CPL chief executive Damien O’Donohoe said following on from the success of the first tournament there were high standards to aim towards.
“After the huge success of the inaugural tournament, we’ve got a lot to live up to, but we’re confident this year will be even better,” he said.
“We’ve got some fantastic players, coaches and mentors on board, and you can expect bigger hitting, bigger crowds and an even bigger party.”
The tournament will see 30 games being played in 37 days across eight venues, before winding up with the semi-finals and final at Warner Park in St Kitts.
Sir Vivian Richards, who will serve as the mentor for the Hawksbills, said he expected a high quality tournament.
“Last year’s tournament was a massive success. The cricket was of a high quality, and it reignited local interest in the domestic game, so I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2014,” the legendary former West Indies captain said.
Saturday’s action here will feature a doubleheader, with Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, led by Dwayne Bravo, clashing with Barbados Tridents, skippered by Kieron Pollard.
The second game will see defending champions, Tallawahs, captained by Chris Gayle, matching wits with Darren Sammy’s St. Lucia Zouks.