The T20 extravaganza is set to come back after a long wait of almost 5 months in the form Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which is scheduled to kick start from August 18. This will be the first T20 league in the world after the dreaded COVID-19 impact, however as the situation demands the whole tournament is set to be played behind the closed door without any spectators. Trinidad and Tobago, a Caribbean Island that has so far recorded more than 550 positive COVID-19 cases and 11 casualties will host all the 33 matches across two venues of the eighth edition of the CPL 2020. The league will witness the return of some of the heavyweight T20 players across the globe after a long time. It will be interesting to see whether the long break would affect the performance of the players or they would adapt to the situation from the word go. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan owned CPL franchise Trinbago Knight Riders(TKR) will lock horns against Guyana Amazon Warriors in the opening match of the tournament. Both sides feature big names in their arsenal. West Indies limited over captain Kieron Pollard will lead the TKR, whereas the Australian all-rounder Chris Green, who is the familiar name in the Big Bash League will be his counterpart. Among the Indian fans, all eyes will be on 48-year-old Pravin Tambe, who is the first Indian ever to play in the CPL. Tambe, who had done remarkably well in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals is set to play for Trnbago Knight Riders (TKR). It would be interesting to see whether Tambe would get a place in the 1st XI for tonight’s match.
Players to watch out for
Trinbago Knight Riders:
Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Colin Munro, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo
Guyana Amazon Warriors:
Shimron Hetmyer, Ross Taylor, Nicholas Pooran, Imran Tahir, Keemo Paul
Prioritize Indian Audiences
This edition of CPL–T20 will see the half of the league matches will start at 7.30 pm in Indian Standard Time (IST), which would be the same start timing for this year’s IPL also. As per the norm, T20 matches generally take place in the evenings under the floodlights, so that spectators can come to the ground after their work and enjoy the proceedings, but as this year the entry of the crowd is prohibited due to COVID-19, the day matches will start at 10.00 am local time to cater Indian viewership. According to one CPL authority, to generate much viewership on TV and digital platforms, this time they target the biggest cricketing market of the world, which is India. “This is done primarily to cater to the biggest cricket market of the world i.e India. Also as this time, CPL will be played behind closed doors, we decided to experiment with the timings”, said that person associated with CPL. However, the timings of the semi-finals and final will be decided later.