After the ongoing Test series versus India, the Island of West Indies is set to witness the seventh edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The T20 extravaganza will get underway on Wednesday, September 4 with the match between defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the Port of Spain in Trinidad. The draft took place in May in London.
A record number of 536 players from 21 matches declared themselves available for the draft. But the teams had only 18 berths to fill. Hence, a number of big names couldn’t quite make the cut. Nevertheless, the teams also showed faith in a few players, who are yet to make their debut in the tournament. The same was owing to their impressive numbers in the T20 format across the globe.
Here are five cricketers, who will be debuting in the CPL 2019
1. Alex Hales- Barbados Tridents
Alex Hales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Not much has gone right for Alex Hales, the England batsman. Earlier this year, he failed a second drugs test and was slapped with a 21-day suspension. To add insult to injury, his name was also withdrawn from the Three Lions’ World Cup squad.
James Vince replaced him. Hales is presently plying his trade for Nottinghamshire in the T20 Blast and will then turn out for Barbados Tridents. The 30-year-old is set to play under Jason Holder, the Windies skipper and the marquee player of the franchise.
He was picked in the first round of the draft and the Tridents, who was last season’s cellar-dwellers, will be looking to change their fortunes this time around. After getting picked, the Middlesex-born Hales lauded Holder and called him one of the best skippers across all the formats.
2. Mohammad Hasnain- Trinbago Knight Riders
Mohammad Hasnain. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Mohammad Hasnain came to the limelight in the 2019 Pakistan Super League (PSL) where he represented Quetta Gladiators. During the tournament, he cranked up the pace and was also the Player of the Match in the Final versus Peshawar Zalmi, getting three wickets.
The fact that he played under Sarfaraz Ahmed worked wonders as in a week’s time he made his debut for Pakistan. To add to his delight, he found a place in the World Cup squad, but he had to warm the benches throughout.
In the CPL, he will be plying his trade for the Trinbago Knight Riders, who has won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The Knights already has Ali Khan as their leading seamer and Hasnain’s pairing with him in the fast bowling department can turn out to be a deadly prospect.
3. Zahir Khan- Jamaica Tallawahs
Zahir Khan. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer-IDI/IDI via Getty Images )
Zahir Khan Pakteen is amongst the most talented wrist-spinners in Afghanistan. However, at the age of 20, his career has been marred by a few injuries. The southpaw was also set to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the Rajasthan Royals, but an injury turned detrimental.
Last year, Zahir was a part of the Nangarhar Leopards in the inaugural Afghanistan Premier League (APL) and did well. Zahir last plied his trade in the T20 format for the Khulna Titans in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) back in January.
In fact, the tweaker hasn’t played competitive cricket for three months now. In the CPL, he will be playing for Jamaica Tallawahs under the hulk-like Andre Russell. The Tallawahs don’t have a big name in the spin-department and Zahir’s inclusion is likely to boost their bowling.
4. Isuru Udana- St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Isuru Udana. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Isuru Udana isn’t the fastest bowler going around in world cricket. However, it’s his constant changes of pace that has turned out to be a headache for the opposition batsmen, especially in the T20 format. The left-arm seamer recently turned out for Sri Lanka in the World Cup and did decently.
As far as his T20 exploits are concerned, he was the leading wicket-taker in the inaugural APL. Moreover, with an average of 16.73, he is no mug with the bat in hand. Back in March, he churned out an unbeaten 84 against South Africa off a mere 48 balls, though it came in a losing cause.
In the CPL, Udana will be playing for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, led by Carlos Brathwaite. The Patriots have Sheldon Cottrell as the premier pacer and Udana can be a valuable addition to the bowling unit.
5. Beuran Hendricks- St Lucia Zouks
Beuran Hendricks. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Beuran Hendricks concedes runs at an economy of over eight in the T20 format. But it’s his wicket-taking ability that makes him a tough prospect in the shortest version of the game. In 64 T20s, the left-arm seamer has 89 wickets.
The left-armer was also one of the star performers for the Jozi Stars in the inaugural Mzansi Super League (MSL) where he picked up 12 wickets in eight innings. In the CPL, he is set to represent the St Lucia Zouks, who haven’t tasted much success in the history of the tournament.
The team has finished at the bottom on quite a few instances and lately, it also faced issues with its operation. This time, the Zouks have a strong bowling unit, consisting of the likes of Hendricks, Obed McCoy, Kesrick Williams and they will be desperate to make a mark.
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