The shortest format of cricket is all set to resume after an agonizing COVID-enforced sabbatical as the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is commencing on August 18. The 33-match tournament is scheduled to be played in Trinidad and Tobago as a closed-door event at two venues: Brian Lara Stadium, Tarouba and the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.
The CPL has made us explore newer territories and it has been an exceptional platform for some relatively unknown players, who have gone on to establish themselves in their national sides or acquire other T20 league tickets for themselves. While the Indian Premier League (IPL) remains to be the pinnacle of franchise-based short-format leagues, the CPL has quietly and calmly carved out a niche for itself with many players showing interest.
This year the tournament will garner more attention for its going to be the first prominent T20 league amidst the pandemic. A number of dazzling players set to be in action this time around.
In the article, let’s take a look at five players who are likely to grab the most eyeballs this year: –
1. Sunil Narine (Trinbago Knight Riders)
Sunil Narine, the puzzling Trinidadian spinner has established himself as a brand in the T20 format. With ample of variations ranging from carom ball, knuckle-ball, and skidders in his bowling armory, Narine is renowned for his miserly bowling.
Apart from his work with the ball, Narine has proven himself to be an extremely handy pitch-hitter and has performed in that role for his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) many times. His fearless batting led him to even turn an opener and he has been seen blistering the opponent bowlers by making full use of the fielding restrictions.
Having played 71 matches, Narine is one of the most experienced contenders in CPL. He has scored 481 runs with the bat and has bagged 72 wickets at an extremely frugal career economy of 5.5 in his CPL career thus far.
2. Andre Russell (Jamaica Tallawahs)
The brawny all-rounder, Andre Russell, from Jamaica is a sheer marauder of the cricket ball. He is a power-packed finisher who can change the course of the game in a blink of an eye. A regular feature in a plethora of short-format leagues, Muscle-Russell has slaughtered the bowlers all over the world.
Apart from his merciless carnage with the bat, Dre Russ is more than capable with his knack of right-arm fast bowling. Having won a CPL title with Tallawahs in 2013, an IPL title with KKR, a BBL title with Sydney Thunder, a BPL title with Comilla Victorians, and a PSL title with Islamabad United, the flamboyant right-hander has tasted victory many times in his T20 career.
The 32-year-old has played 57 matches in CPL history and has amassed 1109 runs at an average just a shade under 31. His mind-boggling career strike rate of 181.20 is a testament to his abilities with the willow in his hands.
3. Rashid Khan (Barbados Tridents)
Ever since Rashid Khan has made an appearance in the world of cricket, there has been no occasion when he has not been a player to watch out for. The assiduous and crafty leg-spinner from Afghanistan has cemented his name amidst the best players and has proved his mettle in the fraternity rather quickly.
Rashid, who is not a square turner of the ball, backs himself by bowling quicker through the air and hurrying up the batsman. With his immaculately precise line and lengths and the skillful ability to mix his stock ball and an unreadable googly, he restricts the run-scoring with great effect and proves to be a complete bowler.
The Afghanistan-leggie is also an athletic fielder and an able finisher and has played a number of quick-fire cameos down the order. His career economy of 5.82 in CPL is bettered by only Sunil Narine and Imran Tahir. Rashid’s maiden and only stint in CPL was in 2017 where he ended up as the leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
4. Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
Even at 41, after bagging a wicket, Tahir tees off quicker than a Usain Bolt does in his 100-meter sprint. The veteran South African leg-spinner has defied age and has continued to perform almost every time he has stepped on the field.
The innumerable variations at his disposal make him nearly impossible to get away with, in the shorter versions of the game, where he has gained immense success across various tournaments. Tahir, who happens to be the lone South African player in this edition of the CPL, will be looking to warm himself up for what awaits him in the UAE next month.
The Pakistan-born has featured for Guyana Amazon Warriors for two consecutive seasons running from 2018 and has taken 32 wickets in 21 matches at an extremely miserly economy of 5.79.
5. Chris Lynn (St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots)
A robust and hard-hitting top-order batsman. Lynn is another proficient and specialized player in the T20 format. Lynn’s prolific scoring has earned him contracts in many prominent leagues such as IPL, BBL, PSL, and SLPL, alongside CPL.
The swashbuckling Australian star has the skill to dominate with the bat straightaway and his range of shots makes him an extremely difficult batsman to bowl to and set a field for. His game-changing abilities have made him a go-to for many teams and this edition will be his fourth turn in the CPL.
Lynn is certainly one of the most exciting players and is expected to unleash his typical free-flowing game for St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots this year. In the 31 encounters in CPL, he has 742 runs at an average of 27.48 and he strikes at 131.56.
- Barbados Tridents
- Guyana Amazon Warriors
- Jamaica Tallawahs
- St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
- Trinbago Knight Riders
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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