The “Biggest Party in Sport” 2022: GUYANA HAS GOT A STRONG SIDE, says CPL CEO Pete Russell

Hero CPL CEO Pete Russell

By Jemima Holmes

As is customary in the world of Guyanese Sport during this time of year, questions have been raised in regard to the composition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) teams, following the hosting of their Player Draft last Thursday.

Closer to home, the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) team, which has been stacked with just the right balance, does not appear to satisfy the taste of local cricket pundits.

It appears like many were expecting that international talents, with the likes of probably Jos Butler, would have been included among the Warriors, but there are many constraints that kept those kinds of players away from the CPL this year.

While it is important to note that teams such as South Africa, England, Bangladesh, Australia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, New Zealand and Zimbabwe would all be involved in varying limited overs tours during the CPL Window, Hero CPL CEO Pete Russell gave some clarity on the international players’ availability, especially considering the impending T20 World Cup in October- November of this year.

“The International calendar is quite complicated, especially as you lead into a World Cup. And also, everyone has to understand that the structure of a team, you can only put players in place that you need,” Russell answered Guyana Times Sport’s inquires on Friday last.

He further stated, “So, I believe actually, it’s the best international lineup we’ve ever had across all the teams.”

Speaking to the fans’ independent assessment of the teams, Russell said, “I think everyone is excited about what those teams are going to bring; it’s all very close. I think each team has its strengths and weaknesses.”

Turning his attention to the local franchise, GAW, Russell opined that there aren’t any missing pieces in the squad.

“I think Guyana has got a very strong side. It (The CPL) is based around Caribbean players, and of course, it’s great to see Keemo Paul back here. Obviously, you’ve got Hetmyer, who’s obviously a big crowd pleaser and quality player,” the Hero CPL CEO explained to this publication.

He continued, “And, of course, if you then take Romario Shepherd and Odean Smith, you know that’s four very talented, high-quality players. I think every team has its strengths and weaknesses, as I said, and I think the Guyanese won’t be disappointed when they start to show their skills and action,” Russell went on to state about the fans who have been paying keen attention to the team’s composition.

Aside from the teams, the CPL Boss is also anticipating the atmosphere in the ‘Land of Many Waters’ when the time comes for Guyana to host 11 matches, inclusive of the Eliminators, Qualifiers and Finals.

He candidly shared, “We can’t wait to get down here for the final, so we arrived here on the 19th. We’ll play 11 games, and finals will be on the 30th of September. So, there’s plenty to look forward to.”