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Opinion

Bring on the Caribbean Premier League

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Roar Guru
9th August, 2020
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The Caribbean Premier League starts on 18 August and will be the first T20 tournament in the COVID-19 era.

There will be 30 games over three weeks from a hub at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and Queens Park in Trinidad and Tobago, with the play-offs starting on 8 September and ending on 10 September at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

Let’s have look at the teams for the 2020 series.

Barbados Tridents

The Tridents are the reigning champions after the likes of Alex Hales and Shakib Al Hasan helping them to victory in the tournament last year. However, due to COVID-19, there’ll be no international support with the exception of New Zealand cricketers Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santer and Afghan Rashid Khan. This team is less experienced than last year with more of a local flavour.

While the likes of Jason Holder and Shai Hope will boost this team’s batting stocks, up and coming fast bowler Keon Harding and experienced T20 bowler Corey Anderson in the bowling ranks will make this side hard to beat. Having Rashid Khan, the No. 1 leg spinner in the game right now, is also a bonus.

The Tridents will be under the pump as reigning champs but will be the team to beat in the hub.

Tridents squad
Jason Holder (captain), Nyeem Young, Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Hayden Walsh Jr, Ashley Nurse, Jonathan Carter, Raymon Reifer, Justin Greaves, Rashid Khan, Kyle Mayers, Joshua Bishop, Shayan Jahangir, Corey Anderson, Mitchell Santner, Shamarh Brooks and Keon Harding.

(Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images)

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Guyana Amazon Warriors

Runners-up in last year’s tournament, the Warriors will be hoping to go one better this year. They have good depth in the batting stocks with Ross Taylor, Keemo Paul and Jasdepp Singh, and if they’re all fit and firing from the start, expect the side to be in play-off contention.

In the bowling, stocks have the No. 1 T20 bowler Chris Green and South African T20 leg spinner Imran Tahir on the list as well as Ashmead Need, the Windies leading wicket-taker in the 2019 World Cup, so they have a lot in the spin department to be excited about.

The Warriors will be a team to watch and have the surprise package of Naveen-ul-Haq, the Afghan fast bowler, who has looked good in the T20 format.

It will be interesting to see if the Warriors can make it to the final for a shot at winning the competition for the first time.

Warriors squad
Kevin Sinclair, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Odean Smith, Anthony Bramble, Naveen-ul-Haq, Imran Tahir, Ross Taylor, Chris Green, Ashmead Nedd, Jasdeep Singh and Kissoondath Magram.

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Jamaica Tallawahs

Jamaica Had a horrible 2019, finishing bottom of the table. Their only shining light was New Zealand batsman Glenn Phillips with 374 runs at an average of 37.40, and thankfully he’ll be returning to the side for 2020.

They also have the explosive Andre Russell and the classy Jermaine Backwood in the team, so expect them to improve on last season’s poor performance.

Further, they have the star of T20 cricket, Carlos Brathwaite, which will defiantly help the team and maybe enable a push for a play-off spot.

The Tallawahs have a star-studded line-up and should improve in 2020, otherwise some serious questions will be asked of the organisation.

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Tallawahs squad
Rovman Powell (capatin), Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Chadwick Walton, Glenn Phillips, Sandeep Lamichhane, Carlos Brathwaite, Asif Ali, Fidel Edwards, Preston McSween, Nicholas Kirton, Nkrumah Bonner, Veerasammy Permaul, Ryan Persaud, Jermaine Blackwood, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Ramaal Lewis.

Cricket generic

(Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots

The Patriots lost the eliminator in the play-offs last year and will be looking to go two better this season.

For 2020 they have an experienced squad featuring Aussie T20 specialist Chris Lynn and also Ben Dunk, and they have young talent in Alzarri Joseph and Jahmar Hamilton. Clearly the Patriots will be a tricky team to come up against, and that’s without mentioning Denesh Ramdin and New Zealand leg spinner Ish Sodi.

The Patriots will be a team to watch in 2020 and could be the dark horses of the CPL this year.

Patriots squad
Rayad Emrit (captain), Dominic Drakes, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Alzarri Joseph, Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk, Sohail Tanvir, Ish Sodhi, Dennis Bulli, Joshua Da Silva, Colin Archibald, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Nick Kelly, Imran Khan and Jahmar Hamilton.

St Lucia Zouks

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The undermanned Zouks will be without Chris Gayle for the tournament. Led by Darren Sammy, this looks like a weakened team – but with a lot of young talent, they could give the CPL a shock.

The Zouks have picked up Mohammed Nabi, a classy all-rounder who will be key to the bowling stocks. They also have Roston Chase, who has been in good form with the bat and with the ball.

One of the young players to look out for is Chemar Holder, a fast bowler who has starred at first-class level. Also worth a mention is cult hero Rakeem Cornwall.

But the Zouks do not have the batting depth, and with no Collin Ingram and no Anrich Nortje it will be a tough season. But you never know – they might surprise a few, including me.

Zouks squad
Darren Sammy (captain), Kimani Melius, Andre Fletcher, Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kavem Hodge, Mohammad Nabi, Chemar Holder, Mark Deyal, Leniko Boucher, Javelle Glen, Saad Bin Zafar, Najibullah Zadran, Scott Kuggeleijn, Roston Chase and Zahir Khan.

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Trinbago Knight Riders

The tournament hosts will be under pressure to perform at their home ground. They’ll be led by T20 expert Kieron Pollard and have superstars Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine as excellent off-season pickups.

They’ll also be helped by New Zealand batsman Colin Munro, and Dwayne’s brother Darren Bravo as part of the star-studded team.

The Knight Riders will be tough to beat and start as favourites, even though they finished third in the CPL last year. They have an excellent squad and have all departments covered, so it could well be their fourth title in five years.

Knight Riders squad
Kieron Pollard (captain), Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Fawad Ahmed, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Tim Seifert, Sikandar Raza, Anderson Phillip, Pravin Tambe, Jayden Seales, Amir Jangoo, Tion Webster, Akeal Hosein and Ali Khan.

So that’s the preview for the CPL. It will be a great test to see how the tournament goes and will give the IPL an idea of how the tournament can be played in a hub.