It’s one of the lesser known limited overs tournaments but the Vincy Premier League is building in popularity. Let’s take some time to look at the history of this competition and the teams involved.
What is the Vincy Premier League?
The Vincy Premier League is a T10 tournament that takes place in St Vincent and the Grenadines. It was first held in 2020 and the third edition took place in 2022.
The VPL has historically been a tournament for teams inside the region and that remains the case in the present format.
League History & Format
The current format of the Vincy Premier League sees six teams take part. They play each other on a round robin basis and, at the end of that sequence, the top two sides face off in the final.
The opening edition of the Vincy Premier League was won by Salt Pond Breakers who finished on top of the regular season table.
In the 2021 edition of the VPL we had a final to decide the winners. It was to be a thrilling affair as the La Soufriere Hikers beat the Dark View Explorers in the final by just one run.
La Soufriere Hikers won another close encounter in the final of the 2022 Vincy Premier League. This time, Botanical Garden Rangers were their opponents and the Hikers would go on to win the final by five runs.
Many new leagues are fluid and we may see some changes to the lists in future years. This, however, is the schedule of teams that contested the VPL in 2022.
Botanical Garden Rangers
Named after an important natural region of St Vincent and the Grenadines, the Botanical Garden Rangers reached the final of the 2022 edition.
Like all teams in the competition, the Rangers’ squad features a good mix of youth and experience. Outside of the West Indies, the most familiar player will be a hard hitting opening batter – the Spiceman Andre Fletcher.
The crystal clear waters of the Grenadines are perfect for diving and that’s how this particular Vincy Premier League franchise got its name.
They’ve yet to really make a mark on this tournament, but there are some impressive players in the Grenadine Divers squad. One of the veterans of all their VPL campaigns to date is all-rounder Asif Hooper who is dangerous with both bat and ball.
Salt Pond Breakers
One of the most attractive areas of ocean in St Vincent can be found at the Owia Salt Pond. It’s a busy tourist attraction and the spot gave its name to the Salt Pond Breakers.
This is another franchise team with a mix of fringe players. Cricket fans outside of the West Indies may be familiar with Jomel Warrican who played 13 tests for the team between 2015 and 2021.
Fort Charlotte Strikers
A historic town with memorable views, Fort Charlotte lends its name to the Vincy Premier League franchise known as the Fort Charlotte Strikers.
Miles Bascombe is an experienced Strikers player and an important batter for the team. Bascombe has played T20 cricket for the West Indies and probably deserved more chances at international level.
Dark View Explorers
As we’ve just seen, the Dark View Explorers were the beaten finalists in 2022. Dark View is a region that contains two spectacular waterfalls and this is a spectacular squad to match.
Look out for the off spinner Luke Wilson who is a regular wicket taker.
La Soufriere Hikers
The La Soufriere Hikers are very much the team to beat in this competition. They’ve won two editions so we can expect to see them fielding a strong squad each year.
Once again, there is a blend of players but this is the most exciting VPL team in terms of emerging young talent.
While many cricket fans are reluctant to take the T10 format seriously, I think that it has an important role to play in the sport. It’s all about development of the game and taking cricket into new countries.
While St Vincent and the Grenadines form part of the mighty West Indies, they are not the biggest island in the region. The Vincy Premier League helps to promote cricket here and it gives fringe players a chance to shine. For those reasons I hope it continues to grow and maintain its place on a crowded cricket calendar.