CPL exec pledges fireworks for 2015 edition

Hall, who spoke to the Jamaica Observer at the close of the player draft last week, said general improvement of the batting surfaces remains a key objective for this year’s tournament, set to run from June 21 to July 26.

“We are going to be working very closely again with [curator] Ken Crafton, who was our pitch consultant last year. His job is to go around to all the islands, do an assessment and leave a programme of rehabilitation or a programme of maintenance, depending on what is required,” Hall said.

“He did a great job [last year] and the statistics proved that because there were far more runs scored last year. There were four centuries in the [2014] CPL and none the year before so the pitches were better last year.”

The cricket operations director said the quality of the players contracted and an increase in the number of night games are other areas that organisers have placed plenty of focus on.

He noted that Sabina Park in Kingston, now furnished with first-rate floodlights to facilitate night games, will be one of the major attractions.

“The number of games has increased. Last year we had 30 games including the final and this year we have 33 games. When the schedule comes out we’ll have an increased number of night games. In Jamaica we’ll be looking forward to it because the lights are now installed at Sabina Park.

“The introduction of players such as [Shahid] Afridi and [Jacques] Kallis; major names in world cricket. Perhaps they are on the other side of their international careers, but still excellent players and big drawing cards and we look forward to them being here.”

Afridi, the Pakistan all-rounder famous for his power-hitting, is contracted to represent new franchise St Kitts. Kallis, the former great South Africa all-rounder and one of the best Test batsmen of his era, will suit up for Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel.

Jamaica Tallawahs, who won the first staging of the CPL in 2013, retained the explosive West Indies pair of Christopher Gayle and Andre Russell, while adding Sri Lanka batting maestro Mahela Jayawardene.

Barbados Tridents are defending champions of the CPL T20.


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