Caribbean Premier League, also known as CPL, is an annual IPL-type franchise based domestic T20 event, organized by the Cricket West Indies (CWI). First started in 2013, the tournament combines two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life – dramatic cricket and a vibrant Carnival atmosphere. CPL is not just cricket, the stakeholders like to call it as the ‘biggest party in sport’.

With a combining broadcast and digital viewership over 197 million in the 2017 season, it is one of the fastest growing domestic cricket leagues in the world after the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). The data shows, a 25% increase in total viewership from the 2016 season, which is quite significant for a domestic cricketing event.

Meanwhile, despite the absence of Indian players, there is a significant interest in this league amongst the sub-continental audience as well. The Indian sub-continent is the biggest market for cricket and CPL has already made a name for itself for its pure quality of cricketainment.

In 2017, the largest audience share was in India where broadcast viewership increased by 19% to more than 97 million. The next largest broadcast market was the Caribbean where there was a total viewership figure of 48 million.

Along with the success in India and the Caribbean, there was also a significant increase in the USA audience where there was more than a 100% lift in viewership on the figures from the 2016 CPL.

There was also a further increase in the digital viewership for the tournament, with 25% of the total audience coming through various digital channels.

Across the Caribbean, the popularity of the league is so huge that the 2017 edition had created a total economic impact of US$ 95,122,465 across six nations in the Caribbean and in the USA.

Noticing this growing stature of CPL, the sponsors from our part of the world have started investing in this championship. Synonymous with some of the marquee sports partnerships in India and abroad, the New Delhi-headquartered Hero MotoCorp is the title sponsor of this six-team event, whereas the Mumbai-based Red Chilies group, owns the Trinbago Knight Riders franchise.

Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Stars and Jamaica Tallawahs are the other five competing teams are and most of these franchises too have foreign investments.

The 2018 edition of the tournament will take place between 8th August and 16th September 2018. Matches will be held across the Caribbean as well as in Florida in the mainland USA.

Meanwhile, in order to signify the global stature of CPL, this year the authorities have decided to arrange the player’s draft for this 2018 edition in London. The organizers believe, with owners and sponsors around the world investing in the CPL and the Caribbean as a whole having the draft in London helps from a logistics point of view and helps to sell the region to a global audience.

Speaking about the upcoming draft Damien O’Donohoe, the CEO of CPL, said, “Our draft is such an important date in the Hero CPL calendar. It is when we get to find out who will be coming to join the Biggest Party in Sport. We know that the quality of players that we have coming to this year’s tournament will generate a huge amount of excitement.

“While the Hero CPL is about bringing the Carnival atmosphere to cricket, the quality of the sport on display is just as important. The world-class cricketers that will be selected on 1st March are what make the cricket at Hero CPL so special.”

CPL is nothing short of a lifeline for financially struggling West Indies cricket. Thanks to the money which this tournament has brought in the Caribbean, the game has started to revive in that part of the world. Hence, for the sake of Caribbean cricket, it is important that this tournament continues to grow in stature.

(Picture and data courtesy: CPL Media)