CPL CHANGES: Qais out, Magram in for Warriors; Allen to miss tournament


Teams in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) have had to make some last-minute changes to their line-ups ahead of the August 18 bowl-off in Trinidad.

After the Afghanistan leg-spinner Qias Ahmad did not have the required transit visa to pass through the UK and board one of the CPL’s charter flights, his place in the Guyana Amazon Warriors was taken by young Trinidad and Tobago spinner Kissoondath Magram.

Magram has played a solitary First-Class match, for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force against Leeward Islands Hurricanes in January this year.

Like Qais, Afghan pair Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Noor Ahmad also had to withdraw for similar reasons.

Meanwhile, West Indies all-rounder Fabian Allen has been ruled out of the tournament after missing his flight from Jamaica to Barbados.

Players, staff and officials were required to arrive in Trinidad two weeks before the start of the tournament, with a number of charter planes organised to fly them to the island.

Allen, who was retained by St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in last month’s draft, was due to reach Barbados on an internal flight on Monday, August 3 before boarding the charter to Trinidad, but was late to the airport and missed his flight.

“Unfortunately there was some confusion with his understanding of the flight details and he missed the flight,” Allen’s agent confirmed to ESPNcricinfo. “We explored all possibilities, but due to the pandemic and travel restrictions in Trinidad, the charter flight on Monday was the only way he could enter the country.”

Under Trinidad and Tobago’s tight lockdown rules, nobody is able to come in or out of the country other than on those charter flights, meaning Allen will be unable to take part in the tournament and will not be replaced in the squad.

Those involved in the tournament are currently quarantining in the Hilton hotel in Port-of-Spain, and all tested negative upon their arrival.

Allen’s absence is the latest in a series of blows for the Patriots. He has been a revelation for them with the bat in the competition in the last two seasons, making 337 runs at a strike rate of 181.18. He has also chipped in with the ball, and took one of the CPL’s best-ever catches as a substitute fielder in 2017.

The franchise’s head coach Simon Helmot withdrew from the tournament following a positive COVID-19 test and a clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore’s pre-IPL camp meant his assistant Malolan Rangarajan would also be unable to travel.

Left arm-spinner Dennis Bullialso withdrew following a positive test, and has been replaced by Trinidad and Tobago leg-spinner Imran Khan. Rassie van der Dussen was unable to confirm his travel plans, with his place taken by Otago batsman Nick Kelly.

Antum Naqvi, an Australian all-rounder who has been part of Lahore Qalandars’ development programmes, will train with Jamaica Tallawahs but is not part of their squad.

Four members of the party that toured England for West Indies’ recent Test series have been added as replacement players: Shamarh Brooks and Keon Harding (Barbados Tridents), Jermaine Blackwood (Jamaica Tallawahs) and Roston Chase (St Lucia Zouks). (Additional reporting by ESPNCricinfo)

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