The tournament, which will form part of the annual WICB calendar, will have the first round played in Barbados (22 to 25 July) with the latter stages held in Trinidad (28 to 31 July).
The agreement also includes coverage of the event on other ESPN networks and platforms around the world, including television coverage on networks in the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, sub-Saharan Africa, Israel, the Middle East, and broadband coverage in the U.S. (ESPN3.com), Latin America (ESPN360) and Australia (ESPN360).
Eight teams will be involved in the Caribbean T20. The West Indies territorial teams: Barbados, Combined Campuses and Colleges, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Windward Islands will be joined by an international team. The winner of the Caribbean T20 will move a step closer to representing the West Indies at the Airtel Champions League in South Africa in September.
Dr Ernest Hilaire, chief executive officer of the WICB, says: “This is a very exciting time for cricket in the West Indies. We just staged the hugely successful ICC World T20 Tournament and now we have the inaugural Caribbean T20 Tournament. We expect to see superb action on the field, from the region’s best players, and great excitement off the field, from the lovely Caribbean people in the stands. Cricket fans all across the world have fallen in love with the short version of the game and we know they will be thrilled with what they see during the Caribbean T20.”
Jeroen Oerlemans, vice-president TV channels, ESPN EMEA, adds: “We continue to expand our cricket offering in the UK and we’re delighted to add the West Indies Cricket Board Caribbean T20 cricket tournament to our summer schedule. Through ESPNCricinfo.com and other media around the world, ESPN has a long association with cricket that we will enhance in the UK.”
In addition to live and exclusive TV coverage, fans can find complete coverage of these matches and more at ESPNcricinfo.com. The site delivers fans news, live ball-by-ball coverage of all Test and one-day international matches, features written by some of the world’s best cricketers and cricket journalists, as well as in-depth statistics on every one of the 3000 international and 50,000 first-class cricketers to have played the game.
The format for the Caribbean T20 Tournament will be two groups of four teams. There will be a round robin stage in each group – each team will play six matches – with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will advance to final while the losing semi-finalists will play a third-place play-off. The eight matches in Barbados will be played on 22 to 25 July and the eight matches in Trinidad will be played on 28 to 31 July, with 1 August as the reserve day for the finals.
Matches will be played at 9:00pm and 1:00am; except on Sunday 25 July when the start times will be 7:00pm and 11:00pm.