David Warner shown here earlier this year playing in a cricket test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town, South Africa, will play with other cricket stars in the 21018 Hero Caribbean Premier League, to be broadcast by the British outlet Sky Sports.
Associated Preess / Halden Krog

The British-based Sky Sports says it will show all 34 matches of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) live in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland.

“This year’s tournament, which runs from Aug. 8 to Sept. 16, will once again see some of the best cricketers in the world take part in a competition that in 2017 attracted a combined broadcast and digital viewership of over 197m fans,” said Sky Sports in a statement on Sunday.

It said Caribbean cricketers Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard will be joined by global superstars, including David Warner, Chris Lynn, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill and more, in this year’s tournament, “which is set to be the biggest yet.”

“Broadcasting Hero CPL further cements Sky Sports’ commitment to bringing the best action from around the world on their dedicated cricket channel,” the statement said.

Damien O’Donohoe, chief executive officer of the Hero CPL, expressed delight that Sky will be a broadcast partner in 2018.

“Sky Sports has an unrivalled heritage and portfolio of sports in the UK and Ireland,” he said.

“As the number one sports broadcaster in the region, they are the perfect home for cricket fans to enjoy the ‘Biggest Party in Sport’ this year,” he added.

Trinbago Knight Riders are the current Hero CPL champions after beating St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the 2017 final, Sky Sports noted.

The defending champions will kick off the 2018 edition of the CPL against last season’s cellar-placed team, the St Lucia Stars, on Aug. 8.

The championship runs from Aug. 8 to Sept. 16, with 30 league games scheduled to be played, followed by three playoff matches and the final.

Three league games will be played in Florida, as compared to four last year. All the matches in Florida will be hosted by Jamaica Tallawahs, Cricbuzz said.

It said the CPL, set to enter its sixth chapter, has been won twice each by Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica, with the other won by Barbados Tridents.

Meanwhile, former Australia vice-captain, David Warner, will replace fellow Australian D’Arcy Short in this year’s CPL after signing up with St. Lucia Stars. D’Arcy Short became unavailable for the franchise after he was called up to the Australia A squad for their tour of India in August and September, ICC.com said.

Warner, 31, is currently serving a ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in March in which Australia was playing South Africa in Tests. Warner and his former Aussie captain, Steve Smith, are both serving 12-month bans.

“We are excited to bring David to the St. Lucia Stars,” said Mohammad Khan, the St. Lucia general manager. “David is arguably one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era and a winning player. He is going to add a lot of value on the field and in the dressing room, as we pursue our first CPL title.”

Warner and Smith received a 12-month ban from Cricket Australia (CA) for attempting to alter the conditions of the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa in March, ICC.com said. Cameron Bancroft was also banned by CA for nine months.

Since his ban, Warner has been trying to stay involved in cricket. He returned to the cricket field during the inaugural Global Twenty20 Canada League in June, representing Winnipeg Hawks.

The former Australia vice-captain is also set to play a part of the grade cricket season with Sydney, Australia-based Randwick Petersham this year, and has signed up to play in Northern Territory Cricket’s Strike League, which includes both Twenty20 and one-day games in Darwin, ICC.com said. It added that said Warner has played in Twenty20 tournaments the world over, but this will be his first appearance in the CPL.

The last time he was in the Caribbean, Warner scored 109 in an ODI against South Africa in 2016., ICC.com said.

Darren Bravo of Trinbago Knight Riders holds the trophy during the team’s celebration after winning the championship of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League.
Sky Sports

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