The teams and early champions
Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Barbados Tridents, Trinbago Knight Riders, St Lucia Zouks and Antigua Hawksbills were the six franchises that contested the first season. The Hawksbills lasted just two disappointing seasons, playing in the 2013 and 2014 tournaments, finishing second last and last, before being put out of their misery and decommissioned.
What the league lost in Antigua, it regained in the form of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, which became the CPL’s first expansion franchise in 2015.
The opening edition of the tournament in 2013 was won by the Tallawahs, who beat the Warriors in the final to be crowned the first-ever CPL champions.
The next year, in 2014, the Warriors once again fell at the final hurdle – their conquerors this time being Barbados Tridents.
Since then, the league has been pretty much dominated by Trinbago Knight Riders.
Originally called the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel, the franchise got off the mark in 2015, beating the Tridents in the final. That same year, they were taken over by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment.
The group also owns a side named Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Thus, for uniformity’s sake and brand growth, the new owners renamed their new acquisition to Trinbago Knight Riders, where the first name is a portmanteau of Trinidad and Tobago, and the second and third names are lent by the parent franchise from Kolkata.
Anyway, the re-branded franchise has blossomed under new ownership, winning four of the next six CPLs, including two back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 as well as last year’s in 2020, which makes them the reigning champions. In the same span of time, when they didn’t win, they secured third-place finishes, which further demonstrates their domination.