Australian two-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner Tom Moody believes that this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will be the most competitive yet and that the inclusion of myriad world-class players across all six teams will make it the biggest and best yet.
Moody, who recently steered Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden IPL title as head coach, is the CPL’s international director of cricket and 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.
“There’s no doubt that every side was very shrewd through the draft process and recruited very well. You can’t pick a winner. In the past you could have hinted that maybe the [Barbados] Tridents and the [Jamaica] Tallawahs were destined to play finals cricket. But you look at the teams now and it’s very hard to pick a top two. And that’s very exciting for the tournament. There’s nothing better than having all six teams towards the back end of the tournament vying for the finals,” the Australian said.
The 50-year-old believes that commitment of the world’s biggest players 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, which will this year be played between June 29 and August 7.
He revealed that getting those players to join the CPL was not a hard sell.
“I think it’s an 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,” Moody said.
“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.”
Moody said the tournament could be a pathway through which future West Indies stars could emerge.
“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,” he said. “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 drew reference to Australia’s Adam Zampa who will be playing in the 2016 HERO CPL, as an example of players using the league as a pathway to stardom. In recent months Zampa has made a mark on the international circuit including the ongoing Ballr Tri-Nation Series.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran of 100 Test matches, or a rising star, the Caribbean Premier League is a tournament that people want to perform in,” Moody said of Zampa who will be representing the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
“Adam Zampa is a great example of someone who sees the Caribbean Premier League as an opportunity for him to continue to develop and increase his stock as a cricketer. If he continues to have a good Tri-Series prior to this tournament, and he backs it up with a good CPL, he’s going to be looked upon more and more as a real contender for Australian cricket in all formats of the game.”