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Started in 2013, the Caribbean Premier League is getting bigger with every passing year. Players like AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson and Adam Zampa are some of the star players who will be featuring for the first time in the Caribbean Premier League. The latest edition of the Caribbean Premier League is set to get under way from Wednesday (June 29) when defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders lock horns against St. Lucia Zouks at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
As the season is knocking at the door, let us have a look at the first CPL champions Jamaica Tallawahs:
Home ground: Sabina Park, Kingston
Coach: Paul Nixon
Captain: Chris Gayle
Last year: 4th (four wins, six losses, one no result)
Key players: Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Kumar Sangakkara, Shakib al Hasan, Dale Steyn
The inaugural champions have spent big on Kumar Sangakkara, Shakib Al Hasan and Dale Steyn while Andre Russell is one of the most powerful all-rounders in the world. The bowling looks a little bit weak in comparison to their batting.
With Chris Gayle at the top of the order , they have the world’s most explosive batsman opening their innings. While Gayle looked off-colour during the initial phase of the recently concluded Indian Premier League, he got back his form during the second half of the tournament. His innings of 76 in just 38 balls in the IPL final shows how dangerous he can be once he get back his form. He had a good outing in Natwest T20 blast too. Former Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara is expected to open the innings with him. Sangakkara’s presence will bring the much needed stability and experience in the team.
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib al Hasan will increase the solidarity in the batting line up. His ability to bat according to the situation will play a vital role’s in Jamaica’s chances in the tournament.
The explosive Andre Russell would be one of their biggest weapons. His ability to clear the boundaries with ease makes him one of the most dangerous batsman in this format.
Other batsmen to watch out for are Imad Wasim and Alex Ross.
Dale Steyn, Andre Russell, Shakib al hasan form a balanced attack.
Dale Steyn’s ability to extract good pace and bounce with the new ball will pose serious threat to opposition batsmen. After a disappointing IPL, where he played just one match, Steyn would be itching to show the world that he still has the firepower to perform in the shortest format of the game.
Andre Russellwas very impressive with the ball for Kolkata Knight Riders and with pitches in Caribbean expected to offer more assistance to pacers, he can be play big role for Tallawahs.
In Shakib Al-Hasan they have a world class spinner who can bowl at any stage of the innings.
Other bowlers who can make an impact are pacers Timroy Allen and Kesrick Williams.
Jon-Russ Jaggesar can use his off spin to good use in the mid overs and contain the batsmen.
Chris Gayle (C)
Shakib Al Hasan