Cricket enthusiasts are making a beeline towards the Caribbean Islands where this year’s Caribbean Premier League is scheduled to start on 20th June with Guyana Amazon Warrior taking on Barbados Tridents at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados. The 2015 edition of CPL T20 is set to see some power-packed performances from big stars as well as promising new talent from the country. There are six teams participating in the tournament, five of which are same as last editions while Antigua Hawkbills are replaced by St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots. CPLT20 has also drawn the attention of some new franchise stakeholders, which is set to heighten the excitement. We bring to you a round-up on the teams with the action set to start in a week’s time.
Current champions, Barbados Tridents have a good mix of experience and youth with batsmen like Kieron Pollard, Robin Peterson, Dwayne Smith, Shoaib Malik and Ravi Rampaul to name a few.
The team is being coached by experienced Robin Singh who is known to produce good results. With Justin Ontong being pulled out due to injury issues, the squad will bank upon the services of newcomers like Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein and Kyle Corbin. The bowlers comprise of Jason Holder, Jonathan Carter, Rayad Emrit, Ashley Nurse, Navin Stewart and overseas player Robin Peterson.
The only concern they will be having is their top order due to which there batting looks a little weak on paper. However, they have quite a few all-rounders who can contribute with both bat and ball. The team looks confident to repeat their brilliance yet again on the field to defend the title.
Players to watch out for: Kieren Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Ravi Rampaul.
Outright Win Odds: 6.50 @ Bet365
They had finished as runners-up last year and will be eager to go one step further this time around with a squad that consists of big names like Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Brad Hodge, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin and Lasith Malinga. All-rounders Thisara Perera, Trevon Griffith, Devendra Bishoo, Chris Barnwell, Assad Fudadin and Veerasammy Permaul will be there to provide support from all quarters. Bowlers Lasith Malinga and Sunil Narine have been in good form recently and will lead the attack with their pace and spin magic.
With a balanced bowling attack and good solid batting line-up, this unit will be a tough nut to crack and they can definitely overcome challenges from any opposition.
Players to watch out for: Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons.
Outright Win Odds: 4.50 @ Bet365
With Chris Gayle and Mahela Jayawardene in the squad, it will be runs galore from the Jamaicans. They have overseas players like Chris Lynn, Daniel Vettori and Rusty Theron, who will bring their experience and skills to the table. David Bernard, Jermaine Blackwood, Nikita Miller, Narsingh Deonarine, Andre Russell and Jerome Taylor have proven themselves time and again and they will bring their A game yet again to provide the required impetus to the attack.
Gayle has been in superb form and so has Russell in the IPL; along with the superior skills of Vettori, Taylor and others, this team might be the one to look out for this season.
Players to watch out for: Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Mahela Jayawardene.
Outright Win Odds: 3.50 @ Bet365
The newest team to be added to the CPL T20, the Patriots will replace Antigua Hawkbills in the league from this year. There are four players who have been picked up from the Hawkbills team – Carlos Brathwaite, Orlando Peters, Devon Thomas and Justin Athanaze; they have roped in overseas talents like Shahid Afridi, Martin Guptill and Sohail Tanvir as well. Marlon Samuels and Sheldon Cottrell will bring in their skills to the table and would want the players to gel as a unit and do well in their first CPL tournament.
This would be an uphill task for them as on paper they look a little light on both batting and bowling front. They would want their domestic players to contribute heavily along with the like of Afridi and Guptill to take their team forward.
Players to watch out for: Shahid Afridi, Martin Guptill, Marlon Samuels.
Outright Win Odds: 9.00 @ Bet365
They have had a mixed run in all the previous editions of the tournament, but will try to do better this year; with international players like Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor, who will contribute to the depth of the batting line-up, the squad looks good to take up tough challenges. Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford, Shannon Gabriel and Johnson Charles are known to perform well and will be required to step up and share the responsibilities here.
Bowling seems to be a little problem as they do not have anyone experienced in that department and would like their batting to provide cover for it. They have young talent in Kyle Mayers, Delorn Johnson, Keddy Lesporis and Liam Sebastien who will be eager to grab this opportunity and do well in front of the home crowds.
Players to watch out for: Ross Taylor, Kevin Pietersen, Darren Sammy.
Outright Win Odds: 6.50 @ Bet365
They have a good mix of local talent and overseas players who are known for their hard-hitting skills and reliability. Jacques Kallis, Johan Botha, Cameron Delport and Kamran Akmal will be contributing with their all-rounder skills with bat and ball while Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Samuel Badree, Sulieman Benn and Miguel Cummins are well aware of the home conditions and will try to make the best of it.
Dwayne Bravo will be the key here as he emerged to be with the newly added stakeholders joining in all the way from the Indian sub-continent, there is a renewed interest in the squad and the fans will be gunning for their team to shine here this season.
Players to watch out for: Dwayne Bravo, Jacques Kallis.
Outright Win Odds: 5.50 @ Bet365
It has just been a month since the IPL has concluded, but with its completion, the T20 fever has only risen, at least in the West Indies.
The six Caribbean teams will fight hard for the title with almost nothing to separate them on paper. All the teams have excellent mix of youth and experience with overseas players bridging the gap. Although cricket is a game of uncertainty and T20 adds to the fact, there are teams in the mix that stand above the rest.
With the power hitting of Chris Gayle, experience of Mahela Jayawardene & Daniel Vettori added to the exuberance of Andre Russell and good domestic players, I think Jamaica Tallawahs is a team which is settled yet power-packed and is likely to take the title home in this edition of Caribbean Premier League.