Khan ready to invest in CPL T20
KINGSTON, JAMAICA - Verus International chairman and CEO, Ajmal Khan, says he plans to invest whatever it takes for the recently launched Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 to be successful.
Khan, who has lived in Barbados for over 15 years and sees the CPL as an ideal opportunity to help professionalise the sport in the region, made the remarks on Monday following the launch of the league in Barbados.
"I felt over the last year that the time had come to be able to create this platform here in the region that I think will become one of the most enviable franchises that we can create anywhere in the world," said Khan.
"With that, I'm looking to invest whatever it takes, in the hundreds of millions, in order to be able to bring this passion, this whole aspect into a reality that is sustainable," he added.
replaces Caribbean Twenty20
The CPL, which will feature six city-based franchise teams - similar to that of the Indian Premier League and Australia Big Bash - will replace the present inter-regional Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament, which will have its final staging next month.
The league will feature players from the West Indies and other Test-playing countries and will see part proceeds going towards territorial boards for the implementation of retainer contracts for players.
"Living in Barbados since 1997 I've got to become very fond of this island and the region, the people and their passion for cricket.
"Cricket to the Caribbean is what Formula One is to Europe or soccer is to Brazil. It's literally a religion here," said Khan, who was born in Nigeria and whose father is a British diplomat.
"We are also aware of the potential that cricket has in helping improve the economy of the region and as someone who believes in the the region it was a no-brainer to make the investment."
Verus International, a banking and investment firm based in Barbados with offices in the United States, was officially granted a 20-year licence by the West Indies Cricket Board to own and operate the CPL.
"We are talking to lots of different potential owners of franchises and have started discussions with other stakeholders across regions and so far the responses have been good. We are therefore optimistic that as we go along things will continue to improve," said Verus' managing director, Dirk Hall.