What you need to know ahead of the CPL 2019, the seventh edition of the Caribbean-based tournament.
The Caribbean Premier League starts its seventh season on Wednesday 4th September, just as the Second Test between the West Indies and India comes to a close. Here’s what you need to know.
When does the CPL 2019 run from and what’s the format?
4th September to 12th October. It’s a six-team tournament with each team playing everyone else twice-home and away.
The Top 4 teams then progress to the Play-Offs where they follow the IPL format. That means the two teams finishing first and second get two bites of the cherry. They play each other in the Qualifier 1 and the winner is straight in the final. The loser then gets their second chance in the Qualifier 2 against the winner of the Eliminator- played between the third and fourth-placed teams. The winner of the Qualifier 2 then also books their place in the final of the CPL2019.
So that’s 34 matches in total at the CPL2019.
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Who are the CPL 2019 teams?
Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kittis and Nevis, Guyana, Barbados and Jamaica all return from last year’s edition and will be joined by the St Lucia Zouks, who had dropped out in 2017, although in truth that was just a re-branding exercise where they became the St Lucia Stars. But the Stars dropped out at the end of the 2018 edition themselves, paving the way for the Zouks to return.
The Trinbago Knight Riders are the defending champs after beating Guayana in last year’s final.
Which local stars are at the CPL2019?
Pretty much all of them. The stars of their ill-fated (50 over) Cricket World Cup campaign are all there such as Chris Gayle, Carlos Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and skipper Jason Holder. Andre Russell who missed some of the World Cup with injury, also plays.
Former Windies stars who aren’t in the national team anymore are also there such as Jason Mohammad, Dwayne Bravo and Denesh Ramdin. Players at the CPL 2019 currently out of the ODI side but who are likely to play for the Windies at the T20 World Cup include Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Andre Fletcher.
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Which overseas players are there?
Due to international scheduling, the most featured country is Pakistan. Their players are particularly keen to turn out here because of course they can’t play in the IPL and overseas spots are very limited in the Big Bash and T20 Blast.
So the list includes current internationals: Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Hafeez and Asif Ali. Sri Lanka are represented by the likes of Lasith Malinga, Niroshan Dickwella, Seekkuge Prasanna and Thisara Perera.
South Africa have Beuran Hendricks, New Zealand have Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Colin Munro and George Worker and there’s Englishman Alex Hales. There’s an Aussie in Ben Laughlin, plus T20 sensation, the Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane.
Players to watch in CPL 2019
Colin Munro’s international career has been marked by a series of comebacks, a re-invention as an opener and a string of failures wherever he’s batted till it’s reached the point where he may not get another chance. But the CPL is a different beast for him and last year he was the top scorer with 567 runs for the Trinbago Knight Riders.
The 37-year old spinner, who is Pakistani but qualifies as Australian, had plenty of issues when it came to playing international cricket, just like Munro. At 37 it’s even less likely that he’ll get another chance for Australia than it is for Munro to get one for New Zealand.
But he certainly found his feet in the CPL last year, ending as the top-wicket taker in the competition with 22 wickets, also for the Knight Riders, though this season he’ll play for St. Lucia.
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There’s plenty to like about the Kiwi all-rounder including his Twitter posts, his part-time job as a Communications Assistant for a company that makes electronic cow’s collars and his near-perfect hair.
But first and foremost he’s a cricketer and he’s pretty good at it. With the possible exception of Kane Williamson, he was New Zealand’s outstanding player at the World Cup. Bowls nice and straight, bats at six or seven combining proper shots and huge hits and fields well.
Could be a big star for Trinbago this season.
It’s one of the great ironies of cricket that the man with arguably the best physique in terms of muscle and power needed to be the world’s premium T20 bowler, actually has a very frail body. It’s prevented him from displaying over the longer game (ODIs) the three-dimensional skills that have made him the T20 player he is.
Last year he was the IPL”s MVP despite Kolkata not enjoying success after a series of barely-believable rescue acts with the bat, sometimes from as low down as number seven.
Occasionally he can’t bowl due to niggles but when he does, he always seems to take wickets. The CPL 2019 is a tournament tailor-made for him. Last year he got the highest individual score with 121 whilst playing for Jamaica.
Thee hasn’t been too much to shout about in between that World Cup-winning over in the T20 WC a few years ago and his brilliant century, ultimately in vain, against Neesham’s New Zealand at the World Cup.
His all-round abilities have seen him play in the T20 Blast for Kent, the IPL with Kolkata and Delhi, the Big Bash with Sydney Sixers and he’s been the West Indies T20 captain ever since that T20 World Cup win.
He’s also the skipper of the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the CPL 2019 and this could be a big year for him.