The 2018 Caribbean Premier League is about to get underway and it is not for nothing that this is called as the biggest party in cricket. The West Indies has dominated T20 cricket and its players are often the stars of T20 leagues around the globe. This tournament effectively brings together some of the highest caliber T20 players from the Caribbean and from around the world.
The format of the tournament is pretty straightforward. There are six teams that will compete with each other on a home and away basis. Each win counts for two points and the four teams the highest points after the group matches will proceed to the knockout stages. If there are any teams that are tied on points then they will be separated by net run-rate or by the total number of sixes hit if the need arises.
The top two teams will play each other in a semi-final while the third and fourth team will play each other in an elimination match. The loser of the first semi-final will play the winner of the elimination in the second semi-final.
|Team||Played||Wins||Losses||Points||Net Run Rate|
|Trinbago Knight Riders||10||7||3||14||1.213|
|Guyana Amazon Warriors||10||6||4||12||0.029|
|St Kitts and Nevis Patriots||10||5||4||11||0.256|
|St Lucia Stars||10||3||6||7||-1.098|
The defending champions are going to go into this edition of the Caribbean Premier League as one of the favorites as well. The team is absolutely loaded with talent. Dwayne Bravo will be leading the team this year and he will be hoping to re-create the form he showed in the IPL. Bravo’s batting has seen a resurgence in recent times but his bowling sees to be becoming a bit predictable.
The team has filled its side with some of the most ferocious batsmen in T20 cricket. Brendon McCullum and Colin Munro give the side a strong Kiwi flavor while Chris Lynn and Denesh Ramdin will give the batting a huge boost as well.
There is no doubt that Chris Lynn is one of the most dangerous hitters of the cricket ball and can destroy teams when on song. His main concern will be to remain injury free for the duration of the tournament.
A part of the problem might be to choose which overseas players end up making the playing eleven.
Darren Bravo is also expected to be available for a few matches and his presence will be welcome to the team as well.
The bowling will be led by the skipper Dwyane Bravo, Sunil Narine, Nikita Miller, and Kevon Cooper.
The fast bowling department of the side looks to be a little weak (although Shannon Gabriel is going to be around to provide the fire) as does the local batting talent available to the side.
CPL 2018 Prediction: Finalists
The Patriots had an excellent season last year but they fell short of beating the Trinbago Knights when it mattered most. In fact, they even finished second on the league table with six wins out of their 10 matches behind the Trinbago Knight Riders. The team is shaping up nicely this year as well. They have some very good batsmen in their side like Chris Gayle, Mahmudullah Riyad, and Evin Lewis. The attention of the world will be on Evin Lewis, who has quickly built up a reputation of playing some blistering innings in T20 cricket.
The left-hander can not only strike it big but can also play through the inning at the same tempo resulting in some massive totals. His partnership with the Universe Boss Chris Gayle is going to be the most exciting opening partnership in the CPL. Mahmudullah Riyad has flown under the radar somewhat over the last few months but he is another batsman that we rate very highly in this format of the game.
If Mahmudullah hits form early in the tournament then he can be expected to carry that with him for the majority of the matches. The problem is that he can also go on prolonged lean runs.
The presence of Carlos Braithwaite, Ben Cutting, and Anton Devcich in the side lends balance thanks to their all-round abilities. Tom Cooper, another Aussie who did very in the Big Bash, has been recruited as a part of the side and we think his batting abilities will make a name heard around the Caribbean after the tournament is over.
Alzarri Joseph, Javelle Glen, and Ben Cutting will be expected to provide the breakthroughs with the likes of Graeme Cremer and Sandeep Lamichhane to spin a web around the opposition batsmen as well.
The team has strong batting lineup but the only concern for them will be player availability and current form of some of their players. A couple of the bowlers are returning from injury but the two wrist spinners look in excellent touch to make an impact if they can find a place in the side.
CPL 2018 Prediction: 4th
This is one of the most exciting teams to feature in this edition of the Caribbean Premier League and we have a feeling that they are going to be very hard to stop for all the others. The Jamaica Tallawahs have two of the most exciting players in the West Indies right now. Andre Russell and Rovman Powell.
Russell said after his match-winning performance against Bangladesh last week that he was still at 95% fitness. That should excite and worry his fans. If Russell can produce these kinds of performances without being completely fit then he is in excellent form, however, if he were to get injured playing the game then that could be disastrous for the Tallawahs.
Rovman Powell is another player in a similar mold to Russell but his bowling still have to come a long way. Shahid Afridi is very good with his leg spin and can be dangerous with the bat as well.
The Tallawahs also have David Miller, Samuel Badree, Imad Wasim, and Kemar Roach in their side. Glenn Phillips and Ross Taylor from New Zealand all bring about international quality batting depth to the side.
We like the balance of this Jamaica side and think they are filled with players who have been on the upswing recently. The top-order batting for the side is the only thing that looks a little susceptible since Johnson Charles is not quite the player he was a little while ago.
The power-hitting ability in the middle will always keep them in the hunt, though.
CPL 2018 Prediction: Winners
The Amazon Warriors will be led by one of the most underrated T20 players in the world, Shoaib Malik. He is among the leading run scorers in this format of the game and even though he may not hit the big sixes, he does score at a very good strike rate.
The batting depth in this Amazon Warriors side is a little shallow. Luke Ronchi has been an excellent T20 player but he is really not someone that you can look towards for consistency. If Ronchi has a good tournament for the Warriors then they could be dangerous otherwise their batting will need to find some local stars.
Shimron Hetmeyer, Jason Mohammad, and Chadwick Walton are some of the players that will want to use this tournament to take that step to the next level. Hetmeyer was recently in the news for playing some aggressive innings against Bangladesh and so should be in good form.
Devendra Bishoo and Keemo Paul are going to be two of the bowlers to look out for in this tournament. Paul has some serious pace around him and can hustle the batsmen while Bishoo is the compulsory wrist spinner that every T20 team must have nowadays.
Cameron Delport has been injured and Chris Green from Australia has been roped in as a replacement. Delport is a batsman but Green is definitely more of a bowler. Expect him to take the new ball and fire in some fast off spinners during the powerplay.
Overall, this Guyana Amazon Warriors side is a decent side with a few good players. For them to be genuine contenders, some of their players will need to have great tournaments.
CPL 2018 Prediction: 5th
The Barbados Tridents had a poor season last year winning just four out of their ten matches. They are going to attract a lot more attention from around the world thanks to the inclusion of Steven Smith in their side.
Shakib Al Hasan was their initial pick but he is going to be unavailable for the team this season. With the former Aussie test skipper in the side, the Tridents have some very good players in their squad now.
Martin Guptill is going to be coming into the CPL on the back of a lot of runs scored in the Vitality Blast. He scored a century off 39 balls and is going to be very dangerous in the Caribbean as well. Hashim Amla, Dwayne Smith, Shai Hope, and Jason Holder are all good batsmen that can score quickly.
If The Barbados Tridents can get its selection right then they may have one of the strongest batting lineups in this tournament.
The team has drafted a couple of fearsome fast bowlers as well like Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Irfan in the squad as well. The team lacks some of the local fast bowling talent as there is only Jason Holder who has any sort of international experience in that regard.
Even the spinners are not the highest quality with Ashley Nurse being the best among those available.
The Barbados Tridents are going to have to win their matches on the back of their runs. Their bowlers will need the cushion of runs to be able to win matches or even defend scores. The advantage that they have is that their batsmen are in excellent form right now and scoring runs across the globe.
Martin Guptill’s season could make or break this team.
CPL 2018 Prediction: 3rd
It is not possible for the St.Lucia Stars to have a worse season than what they had last year. They lost 9 out of their 10 matches and the remaining was a washout. This year, they have recruited David Warner into their side who is going to be available for the entire season.
Having Warner in the side is a huge boost for any T20 side, especially one that is among the weakest batting sides of the competition. Warner has carried the team in the IPL on his back before and will probably need to the same again. His form, though, in the Global T20 league in Canada was not good and he got single figures in five out of the six matches he played.
Lend Simmons is also a part of the squad. He has been fighting injury over the last few months and it will be interesting to see how he comes back. We rate him highly in this format of the game and he could be another player to help the Stars up from the bottom of the table.
Kieron Pollard is one of the most wanted T20 players around the world, although, we honestly don’t see that much value in him. He bowls too infrequently and scores too inconsistently to be of real use to his team.
Mark Chapman from HongKong is an interesting pick by the Stars. He played in the KFC Super Smash this year as well and did pretty decently. The bowling is pretty weak for the St.Lucia Stars with Darren Sammy, Kesrick Williams, and Mitchell McClenaghan as the fast bowling battery.
The cupboard with the spinners is pretty bare though and that could show up as the tournament progresses.
CPL 2018 Prediction: 6th
We are looking at another tightly fought tournament this year around and we are backing the Jamaica Tallawahs to come out winners after everything is said and done. Andre Russell comes into this tournament in tremendous form and he would be our pick for player of the tournament. Martin Guptill and Evin Lewis look like strong contenders for the highest run getters while Dwayne Bravo is our pick for the highest wicket taker in this edition of Caribbean Premier League.