PORT OF SPAIN: Former Australian Test player and international cricket coach Tom Moody believes that this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be the most competitive yet and that the inclusion of a myriad of world-class players across all six teams will make it the biggest.
Moody, who is the CPL’s International Director of Cricket, played a key role in securing the signing of overseas players of the calibre of AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum and Shane Watson for the first time.
The 50-year-old, who recently steered Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title as head coach, said that their commitment to the biggest party in sport, allied to a host of outstanding local West Indies and international stars, is a ringing endorsement of the growing international stature of the CPL.
Expressing his views on the growth of the CPL’s standing internationally and outlined his hopes for the forthcoming season, Moody said, “I think it’s enormous (boost). 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.”
“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,” he added.
Moody also reflected on his experience to coach the IPL winners, He said, “It was definitely career highlight to be involved in a successful IPL campaign. 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.”
The CPL is slated to be held from June 29 and August 7.