Lloyd Commends New GPC Investment
Local company New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation Incorporated (NEW GPC INC.), through its Limacol brand, broke new grounds last Monday when it became the franchise owner of the Guyana Amazon Warriors team for the highly anticipated Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
By doing so, the company became the first in the region to purchase a franchise ahead of the July 30-August 24 league, which will feature six franchise-based teams: Antigua and Barbuda Hawksbills, Barbados Tridents, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks and Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
In an exclusive interview on matters pertaining to CPL, former West Indies captain and legendary cricketer, Clive Hubert Lloyd, was high in praise for NEW GPC INC/Limacol, noting that he feels a sense of satisfaction that individuals and entities are still keen on investing in West Indies cricket.
Clive Lloyd: “Great to know we still have people who are willing and able to invest in our cricket.”
“Well it’s good to know that we’re breaking new grounds,” Lloyd told this publication. “It’s great to know that we still have people who are willing and able to invest in our cricket and I want to commend the owner of the Guyana franchise for that. I want to congratulate Dr. [Ranjisinghi] Ramroop and his group for the good job he has done and I wish him the very best for the tournament.”
The final agreement with Dr Ramroop was signed last Monday in Guyana with CPL officials. The announcement came hot on the heels of the recent selection of the new franchise-based teams that took place on June 5 in Jamaica.
Headquartered in Guyana, NEW GPC INC. has been operating for 90 years and is the Caribbean’s oldest and largest pharmaceutical manufacturer of generic pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter cosmetics preparations and veterinary products of the highest quality.
Dr Ramroop was very excited about what is to come as the new owner of the Guyana franchise.
“The CPL is just what we needed in the Caribbean and in Guyana. This tournament and my companies’ investment will help to develop cricket talent and also stimulate economies across the region,” he said. “We are elated to be part of this inaugural year and look forward to the growth and development of CPL which we believe will be the envy of the cricketing world.”
CPL Chief Executive Officer, Damien O’Donohoe, was also thrilled to have Dr Ramroop and NEW GPC INC./Limacol on board the inaugural edition of the six-franchise tournament.
“It is clear that he understands our vision and what we want to achieve. We appreciate the enthusiasm he brings and we believe that Team Guyana will benefit greatly from his support,” O’Donohoe related.
Meanwhile, the 68-year-old Lloyd, who played 110 Tests and 87 ODIs for the West Indies between 1966 and 1985, is hopeful the hosting of CPL matches in Guyana will attract fans in droves at the National Stadium, Providence. The West Indies’ most successful captain noted that Guyanese have been starved of cricket for some time, and he is encouraging the fans to witness the matches that will be hosted here.
Guyana will host four games: Guyana Amazon Warriors versus Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel on July 31; Guyana Amazon Warriors versus Jamaica Tallawahs on August 2 and a double-header on August 4 featuring Antigua and Barbuda Hawksbills and Jamaica Tallawahs, and Guyana Amazon Warriors versus St Lucia Zouks.
In assessing the teams, Lloyd said the Guyana Amazon Warriors franchise is “strong” with a good combination of players.
Guyana’s franchise players are West Indian Sunil Narine and Pakistan player Mohammad Hafeez. They are joined by 13 other players who were drafted on June 5.
They are Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin, James Franklin, Christopher Barnwell, Martin Guptill, Krishmar Santokie, William Perkins, Steven Jacobs, Ronsford Beaton, Trevon Griffith, Narsingh Deonarine and Veerasammy Permaul.
In endorsing the move to have a Caribbean Premier League, Lloyd said the region is now moving in the direction with the rest of world.
“Well I think it’s the popular thing at the moment. I’ve always said that where T20 is concerned it’s an exhibition and the Test matches are an examination. So the point is they’re two different things, but it’s the new phase and people have warmed to it [T20]. It’s very exciting,” he pointed out.
“By having international players it gives CPL that flavour that is needed and our young players, I’m sure, will learn by playing with overseas players, just like some of the Indian players would have done in the IPL. If it’s successful, and I’m hoping it is, I’m sure we would get the value from it in the long run.”
He said the move to have Under-23 players be a part of the respective franchises, where they will be able to draw on the experiences of full-fledged international cricketers is a step in the right direction.
“If you are playing with players who are better than you are, then you will improve, or you should improve, because you would be picking up different things from team meetings and discussions and so on. So that is a given.
I think the good thing is we have young players – those Under-23 players – which is an important thing because you would be getting that professionalism from an early age, which should hold you in good stead later on when you become a full-fledged Test cricketer,” Lloyd explained.
He further stated, “I think, with the advent of CPL, our young players will get early experience, because our domestic cricket standard is not that high. So playing with these young players, you’re injecting something new into their thinking and I’m sure this can only be good for the young players who are coming through and that’s an excellent move to have Under-23 players in each team.”
The inaugural CPL will feature 24 matches at the Guyana National Stadium, the Kensington Oval in Barbados, the Beausejour Stadium in St Lucia, Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua and Sabina Park in Jamaica.
The opening game of the league will take place at the Kensington Oval with host team Barbados Tridents playing St Lucia Zouks from 19:30h.
The grand final will be staged at the Queen’s Park Oval on August 24 from 19:30h with the semi-finals fixed for the same venue on August 22 and 23.