CPL 2023: St. Lucia Kings, Jamaica Tallawahs out to set tone for new season

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The ‘Biggest Party in Sport’, the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL), bowls off today (August 16) with the new-look St. Lucia Kings hosting defending champions Jamaica Tallawahs from 19:00h at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground.

Kings finished third after the preliminaries in 2022, but were knocked out by Barbados Royals in the Eliminator.

Still, it meant they have surged to two finals and one eliminator over the past three seasons, a vast improvement from just one playoff spot in 2016 since the tournament started in 2013.

However, the Kings share a familiar stat with their upcoming opponents on Saturday- Guyana Amazon Warriors.

Of the teams currently in CPL, the Kings and the Warriors are the only two never to win a title.

Speaking on the eve of the battle with Tallawahs, captain Faf du Plessis explained to News Room Sport it would be ideal to win eight of the 10 matches in the preliminaries and head into the playoffs with massive confidence.

Still, they can only control what they input on the field.

The South African, who was amongst the leading run-scorers last season, felt this year they have a more balanced squad, and the belief is growing they can cross the final hurdle.

Meanwhile, Jamaica Tallawahs captain Brandon King said it would be important for his side to play with passion and execute efficiently, both individually and collectively, if the reigning champions are to retain their title.

King, who was instrumental in leading the Jamaican franchise to their third title and first since 2016 by defeating Barbados Royals in last year’s final in Guyana, is confident they can once again stamp their class on the tournament.

St. Lucia Kings: Faf du Plessis (captain), Leonardo Julien, Kimani Melius, Roshon Primus, Dasun Shanaka, Roston Chase, Sadrack Descarte, Sikandar Raza, Matthew Forde, Jeavor Royal, Johnson Charles, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Alzarri Joseph, Jair McAllister, Peter Hatzoglou, Khary Pierre, McKenny Clarke.

Jamaica Tallawahs: Brandon King (captain), Imad Wasim, Fabian Allen, Mohammad Amir, Alex Hales, Chris Green, Jermaine Blackwood, Shamarh Brooks, Hayden Walsh Jr., Raymon Reifer, Amir Jangoo, Steven Taylor, Shamar Springer, Nicholson Gordon, Kirk McKenzie, Joshua James.

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