Hero CPL teams finalised for 2018 tournament
By Avenash Ramzan
The Hero Caribbean Premier League Player Draft concluded on Thursday in London with the six franchises now clear on the players they have their disposal for the 2018 tournament, set to be played in August-September.
Guyana Amazon Warriors, one of the most consistent sides in the tournament, but one which is yet to lay hands on the trophy, brought in several new faces in the hope of breaking the title jinx this year.
All-rounder Shoaib Malik, batsman Cameron Delport, leg-spinner Imran Tahir and ICC Americas player Saurabh Netravalkar are the international newcomers, while local lads Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd and Akshaya Persaud are the other fresh faces to the squad.
Persaud was previously part of the franchise youth set-up. The Warriors have retained their best batsman and bowler from last season- Chadwick Walton and Sohail Tanvir.
Opener Walton had 458 runs, the most in the competition, while Tanvir had the most wickets (17) and best bowling figures (5-3) in the tournament.
All-rounder Rayad Emrit should once again shoulder the responsibility of captaincy, a role he filled after Martin Guptill had to return home early due to the death of his father.
Luke Ronchi, Jason Mohammed, Gajanand Singh, Veerasammy Permaul, Keemo Paul and Roshon Primus were retained from last season, while Shimron Hetmyer and Devendra Bishoo return after playing for the franchise in 2016.
GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS: Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Malik, Chadwick Walton, Cameron Delport, Rayad Emrit, Imran Tahir, Jason Mohammed, Luke Ronchi, Veerasammy Permaul, Roshon Primus, Shimron Hetmyer, Devendra Bishoo, Gajanand Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul, Saurabh Netravalkar and Akshaya Persaud.
Former champions Barbados Tridents have assembled another strong squad with former Guyana Amazon Warriors captain Guptill being bought by the franchise. The New Zealander will add depth to an already impressive batting line-up.
With Hashim Amla, Dwayne Smith, Nicholas Pooran, Shakib Al Hasan, Roston Chase and Shai Hope, the Tridents bat deep. The bowling department is quite balanced as well, with three left-armers in Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan and Raymon Reifer, an off-spinner in Ashley Nurse, a leggie in Imran Khan and left-arm spinner Shakib.
Notably, Kieron Pollard, who has provided inspirational leadership over the past few seasons, was released by the franchise.
BARBADOS TRIDENTS: Martin Guptill, Shakib Al Hasan, Hashim Amla, Dwayne Smith, Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Raymon Reifer, Ashley Nurse, Roston Chase, Shai Hope, Tion Webster, Imran Khan, Dominic Drakes, Shamar Springer, Sunny Sohal and Mark Deyal.
Two-time champions Jamaica Tallawahs have bought all-rounder Andre Russell, who recently served a one year ban for a doping offence, and have also selected Pakistan’s talisman Shahid Afridi.
Add David Miller, Ross Taylor, Rovman Powell, Imad Wasim, Krishmar Santokie, Samuel Badree and Kemar Roach to the mix, and you have a side that could seriously challenge for the title in 2018.
Guyanese off-spinner Steven Jacobs, who is widely regarded as one of the better T20 bowlers in the region, was snapped up by the Tallawahs.
JAMAICA TALLAWAHS: Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Imad Wasim, David Miller, Ross Taylor, Rovman Powell, Samuel Badree, Kemar Roach, Glenn Phillips, Andre McCarthy, Krishmar Santokie, Johnson Charles, Steven Taylor, Kennar Lewis, Steven Jacobs, Oshane Thomas, Elmore Hutchinson and Kristian Kallicharran.
St. Lucia Stars, who did poorly at the last tournament, have made some drastic changes, putting together practically a new squad from what played last year. Interestingly, they were able to snap up Pollard from the Barbados Tridents.
Given Pollard’s success with the Tridents and Darren Sammy’s leadership qualities, it would be interesting to see who will be named captain.
Nevertheless, the Stars shopped well at the Draft, raking in Lendl Simmons, D’Arcy Short, Rumman Raees, Andre Fletcher and Mitch McCleneghan.
Guyana Jaguars batsman, Chandrapual Hemraj, who made the most runs for the franchise in the Regional Four-day and impressed in the Super50, was bought by the franchise, signalling his maiden call-up for the CPL.
ST. LUCIA STARS: Lendl Simmons, Kieron Pollard, D’Arcy Short, Darren Sammy, Rumman Raees, Andre Fletcher, Mitch McCleneghan, Kesrick Williams, Niroshan Dickwella, Rakheem Cornwall, Qias Ahmad, Kaveem Hodge, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Dasun Shanaka, Christopher Lamont, Obed McCoy, Jaskaran Malholtra and Odean Smith.
Reigning champions Trinbago Knights have basically stuck with the same squad that brought championship glory last year, making only three changes, among them the purchasing of Australian power-hitter Chris Lynn.
The addition of Lynn gives Knight Riders further firepower, with the likes of Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Colin Munro, Denesh Ramdin and Sunil Narine set to shoulder the batting.
The bowling will revolve around Narine, Ronsford Beaton, Nikita Miller and Kevon Cooper.
TRINBAGO KNIGHT RIDERS: Dwayne Bravo, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Colin Munro, Shadab Khan, Khary Pierre, Ronsford Beaton, Junior Dala, Javon Searles, Terrence Hinds, Kevon Cooper, Nikita Miller, Anderson Phillips, Hamza Tariq and Amir Jangoo.
2017 runners-up St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots have retained the services of batting powerhouses Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis, making little change to their squad from last season.
Carlos Brathwaite, Tabraiz Shamsi, Sheldon Cottrell and Devon Thomas are among the notable names returning from last year, while the Patriots bought Sandeep Lamichhane, the first Nepalese players to be selected for the CPL.
ST. KITTS AND NEVIS PATRIOTS: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ben Cutting, Carlos Brathwaite, Mahmadullah Reyad, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tom Cooper, Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Graeme Cremer, Fabian Allen, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shamarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Alzarri Joseph, Ibrahim Khalil and Javil Glenn.
The 2018 tournament will run from August 8 to September 16.