Gayle predicts Florida leg will raise CPL profile

Lauderhill, 26 July 2016 :Jamaica Tallawahs skipper Chris Gayle believes the historic Lauderhill leg of the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will help to elevate the profile of the tournament to a new level.

Six matches are carded for the Central Broward Stadium, including back-to-back clashes between Gayle's high-flying Jamaica Tallawahs and the in-form St.Lucia Zouks on Saturday and Sunday.

The prolific left-hander has continued his fine run of form in a competition and is currently raked in third position in the CPL's leading run-getters, having notched up a total of 260 runs in eight games to date at a strike rate of 159.5 and at an average of 52.

And though he is still undergoing treatment on a back injury which has troubled him of late, his strong batting form, coupled with his 23 Hero Maximums (sixes) to date, has reasserted his reputation as one of the game's most devastating batsmen.

Speaking on the eve of the landmark ties in Central Broward Stadium, which start on Thursday when c Warriors face a crunch clash with a Barbados Tridents side who need two wins to have any hope of reaching the CPL finals, the 36-year-old said that he was pleased with his side's form which has propelled them to the top of the league table.

"First of all I think it will be a great atmosphere based on what happened over the last couple of years when the West Indies played New Zealand (in Central Broward Stadium).

I think that the CPL will bring out a crowd once again and, you know, with the atmosphere that they've seen on TV I'm sure they'll want to experience it for themselves.

Hopefully we can get a good start on Thursday and progress over the weekend as well. It should be a good one and I'm looking forward to it as well. "I'm happy on a personal point of view, as well as a team point of view to actually be at the top of the table.

Hopefully we can maintain the momentum which we left in Jamaica and came here to play against the Zouks on Saturday and Sunday.

We need to win at least one of the games and then move on to the Finals and wait for them in St. Kitts and see what happens. The guys have been playing good all-round cricket so you can't fault the effort. I just want them to keep the some momentum going," the swashbuckling West Indies batsman said. "They (St. Lucia Zouks) are going to be dangerous coming off three wins. Momentum is always good in a T20 game.We're outside of our home turf now so it's going to be a different scenario so we have to make the necessary adjustment now and see what the conditions have to offer us as well.

Hopefully everybody can pitch in and be ready for that cause. Reflecting on the US leg of CPL, the Caribbean star said that he is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

"It feels like the Caribbean! The sun is out, the beach is just down the road so I know everybody is looking forward to it.

Everybody's having a good time. It's good to be back in Florida and I'm looking forward to playing here again. Hopefully this will be a new beginning for CPL and hopefully it will progress in the years to come..