St John's, Antigua: Former West Indies captain and batting legend Sir Vivian Richards believes the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will provide young cricketers an opportunity to display and hone their skills in a competitive environment.
In an interview, Sir Vivian said the tournament should also give the young players an opportunity to assess their professional career, reports CMC.
"It could also be that sort of a pinnacle that maybe our young professionals, or guys who are aspiring to be young professionals, can now maybe look forward to the cool and smooth T20 tournament; and now with the CPL, this could be the point where maybe the younger professionals would really like to reach," Sir Vivian said.
"It is an opportunity for them and it is that sort of a playground for them to assess their careers and where they would like to go and hopefully with the professional stuff which has been in the area itself, it gives them an opportunity to become better professionals and something to strive for."
The tournament includes six franchises with 15 contracted players each including a maximum of four international players and four players under the age of 23.
The teams are Antigua Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
Reacting to the non-selection of Antigua and Leeward Islands' captain Sylvester Joseph, Vivian, who will coach the Hawksbills, said the idea was to select a nucleus of players capable of complementing each other.
"We try and look for individuals who we think can be part of a family because if it is that this tournament, the CPL, is going to be a period of about four to five weeks, we look to have individuals who want to represent that brand," the former batsman said.
"There are certain processes that we have and everyone is on the list and the sheets that we were sent had everyone who were available and we just didn't go in that direction, it is simple and plain as that."
The CPL, organised by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), replaces the Caribbean Twenty20 as the premier T20 cricket tournament in the Caribbean.
The competition, which is slated to run from July 29 to Aug 26, will be played in Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.