Join the self-proclaimed "biggest party in sport" by watching live online as the Caribbean Premier League opens its 2015 T20 cricket season Saturday at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, with a rematch of last year's final, pitting the defending champion Barbados Tridents vs. Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The 2015 season is the third incarnation of the Caribbean Premier League, but the month-long franchise-based tournament has already attracted Hollywood glamor, with stars Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler each investing in teams.
Wahlberg sank his money into the Tridents while Butler owns a stake in the Jamaica Tallawahs, a team anchored by West Indies star batsman and Kingston, Jamaica, native Chris Gayle.
Just this week, Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan — already the principal owner of the Indian Premier League Kolkata Knight Riders — announced that his group will buy the CPL Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel franchise.
The opening match — and every one of the 33 matches in this year's six-team Caribbean Premier League competition — will be streamed live on ESPN3, the online-only service of ESPN. Unlike the Indian Premier League, which was streamed through the now-defunct ESPN Cricket app and required a $79 subscription fee, all of the 2015 CPL action will be streamed free.
See the information at the bottom of this article for more details on how to watch Saturday's Barbados Tridents vs. Guyana Amazon Warriors live online free. The CPL plays one match every day, except for Mondays when the league goes dark — because even Caribbean fans need a rest from the non-stop partying that takes place in the grandstand at CPL matches.
Also to accommodate the festive atmosphere, the 2015 CPL reverts to its original night game format, with 30 of the 33 scheduled matches to be played under the lights. Last year, the CPL expanded its schedule of day games in order to hit the prime-time broadcast hours on the Indian subcontinent, the world's most devoted and profitable market for cricket. But CPL Chief Damien O'Donohoe says that he quickly realized that the schedule change was a mistake.
"We've should have foreseen this. The problem was you just cannot get that same atmosphere at 12'o clock on a Saturday or a Sunday because the Caribbean fans want to party," O'Donohoe told ESPN Cricinfo. "We cannot alter our product to keep other markets happy. At the end of the day it is a Caribbean product. That is what we need to make sure the fans have the best time."
Saturday's Barbados vs. Guyana match streams live online free starting at 5:50 p.m. in Barbados, which is the same as United States Eastern Time, or 2:50 p.m. Pacific.
For those unfamiliar with cricket, the Caribbean Premier League, like the Indian Premier League, plays a shortened, more intense form of the game called Twenty 20, or T20. Unlike the longer one-day format in which games can last eight or nine hours, T20 games wrap up in about three hours, similar to an American baseball game.
But with the shortened format, the emphasis is on scoring as many runs as quickly as possible, which creates a form of the game loved by fans — if not necessarily by cricket traditionalists.
ESPN3, the online-only service of ESPN, will stream the Barbados Tridents vs. Guyana Amazon Warrior Caribbean Premier League opening match, and all CPL 2015 matches, live online at this link. ESPN3 is free to subscribers of most major internet service providers and many minor ISPs as well. For a full list, check this link.
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