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CPL and Grabyo offer archive matches with new commentary

Jason Holder (R) of Barbados Tridents is runout by Keemo Paul and Nicholas Pooran (L) of Guyana Amazon Warriors during the 2019 Caribbean Premier League Final (by Ashley Allen - CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images)

Twenty20 cricket competition the Caribbean Premier League has sought to promote its scheduled 2020 season by engaging in a venture with cloud-based video production, editing and distribution company, Grabyo.

From tomorrow (Tuesday), the CPL will broadcast matches from the last seven years of the tournament via its Facebook and YouTube channels. However, the venture differs from similar offerings employed by sports organisations amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the paucity of live action available.

Rather than airing the original commentary, CPL has enlisted its broadcasting team to commentate live on the action. To make each match as realistic as possible, CPL will not provide any of the match information to the commentary team before the game starts.

The League’s digital team will also be covering the matches as if they are live, providing match clips, graphics and behind the scenes content to replicate the CPL experience.

The matches will be broadcast using Grabyo’s live streaming software, which will allow the commentators to broadcast remotely. The commentary team will be based in Australia, Trinidad and Barbados.

Pete Russell, CPL chief operating officer, said: “The thoughts of everyone involved in CPL are with those who have had their lives impacted by this crisis and we have been spent a good deal of time thinking how we can provide sports fans with something different and exciting for them to enjoy as we get through this pandemic. We all miss live sport, and we wanted this experience to be as immersive as possible.”

The 2020 CPL is currently due to take place between August 19 and September 26.

The International Cricket Council has already opened up its archive of match footage and programming to its broadcast rights-holders amid the ongoing effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Announcing the move last week, the ICC said it would enable fans around the world to watch memorable cricket matches, highlights and ICC films with live programming disrupted due to the global pandemic. ICC events dating back to 1975, including the men’s and women’s World Cups and T20 World Cups, the Champions Trophy and U19 World Cups have been made available.

Additionally, fans will be able to engage with ‘Watch Parties’ on the ICC Facebook page, where some of the most iconic games in the history of the sport will be replayed in full.