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The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) includes six teams, with the Jamaica Tallawahs and the Trinbago Knight Riders being the only two teams with at least three titles under their belt.
The Tallawahs emerged victorious in the inaugural tournament in 2013, again in 2016, and most recently in 2022. However, the team will not be participating in the upcoming edition of the tournament, as they have been replaced by a yet-to-be-named Antigua-based franchise.
It is not Antigua’s first time hosting a franchise, as they were the home of the Antigua Hawksbills for the first two editions of the CPL. The Hawksbills won only three of their 16 games before being replaced by the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots. Kris Persaud, a Guyanese businessman who acquired the Tallawahs in 2017, sold the team back to the CPL ahead of the 2024 season.
He cited a lack of support from the Jamaican Government as the reason for his decision. According to former Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller, the Government failed to provide any backing or support to the franchise, despite numerous proposals submitted over the years.
The CPL’s business plan requires Governments to play a major role in financially supporting the franchises. However, Jamaica has not participated in these environs, resulting in the Tallawahs being unable to sustain their franchise in the country. The team has not hosted a CPL game since September 2019, and there were no games scheduled for the 2024 season either.
Miller explained that a franchise without home games means losing ticket sales, merchandising, concessions, and sponsors. He added that businesses would not want to support a franchise that cannot provide any benefits from playing within the country. The new Antigua-based franchise will replace the Tallawahs in the six-team Twenty20 tournament, with Persaud and Miller leading the team.
The CPL is currently searching for new owners for the Jamaica-based franchise. Miller confirmed that they have received commitments from the Antiguan Government and are looking forward to a fruitful partnership in the future.
The franchise’s branding announcements are expected to come next month, with the fans in Antigua participating in the naming process.