For the first time since March, professional cricket will return this month in Caribbean as St Vincent and Grenadines Cricket Association (SVGCA) has announced the start of their very own franchise-based T10 league – the Vincy Premier League (VPL). The tournament is set to commence on May 22 to until May 31, 2020, featuring six teams named after the tourist attraction in the country.
The inaugural season of the VPL will take place at the Arnos Valley Sporting Complex. As the workdwide cricket remains halted, this event resumes competitive cricket involving international players of a Full Member team, with 72 players were drafted in in the format similar to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
“It is an exciting time for cricket in SVG, I can feel the buzz of sports enthusiasts who are thirsty for some cricket and sports,” Dr. Kishore Shallow, president of the SVGCA was quoted as saying in a news portal. “We came up with this T10 franchise format because of the absence of sports content at this point, and thought that this brand of cricket would be enticing to cricket fans across the globe in a short duration.
The maiden season of the tournament will kick-off with a number of international cricketers, including Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy and Sunil Ambris. Keron Cottoy, who was a part of the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the last CPL, is also a part of the league. The tournament is set to be open for fans as there are “no formal limitations in terms of social gatherings” imposed by the local government.
Aside from being the first competitive cricket tournament to commence in the wake of the global health crisis, the VPL will also become the first tournament where the players will not be allowed to use saliva on the ball, a concept required by the ICC and medical experts at various cricket boards. At the time of writing, the country has only 17 cases of the virus with no deaths recorded.
“No player would be allowed to use any saliva on the ball,” he said. “Of course, we will be having different dedicated, assigned spaces around the players’ pavilion for teams so that they are not necessarily crowded together. All teams would have their own space where they could practise physical distancing,” Dr. Shallow said in a separate interview.
“We came up with this T10 franchise format because of the absence of sports content at this point, and thought that this brand of cricket would be enticing to cricket fans across the globe in a short duration,” Dr. Shallow said at the launch of the draft on May 11. Previously, the tournament has been put together within the last two weeks after Dream11, an India-based prediction company, approached SVGA.
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