So CPL 2017, also known as Caribbean Premier League starts on July 5th, 2017. Last year’s CPL was successful as big names like AB De Villiers, Chris Lynn, Kane Williamson and Kumar Sangakkara were part of it. Jamaica Tallawahs won the T20 league last year which featured experienced players like Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Kumar Sangakkara and Shakib ul Hassan. It was also a turning point in the career of the Pakistani all-rounder Imad Wasim as he shined throughout the tournament with bat and specially with the ball.
This Year’s CPL draft took place on March 10, 2017. Big names like Brendon McCullum, Kumar Sangakkara, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Lasith Malinga and Chris Morris were categorised as Marquee Players. 5 players from Afghanistan, 3 from Ireland, 28 from Australia, 4 from Bangladesh, 2 from Canada, 17 from New Zealand, 1 from Oman, 46 from Pakistan, 16 from South Africa, 19 from Sri Lanka, 4 from Zimbabwe, 1 from United States and 107 West Indian local players were part of the draft.
I was waiting all day for the draft. The round one of the draft started. It included players priced $160,000.
Guyana Amazon Warriors had the first pick in which they retained the Pakistani T20 specialist Sohail Tanvir who displayed a wonderful performance last year. Trident had the second pick in which they retained one of the best player of T20 format, Kieron Pollard. St Lucia Stars in their pick retained the South African hitter, David Miller. Jamaica Tallawahs picked Lendl Simmons. In the fifth pick St.Kitts and Nevin Patriots retained the big man, Christopher Henry Gayle. Gayle couldn’t perform well in PSL 2017 but is expected to be in hot form in this edition of the CPL. The last pick of the round one was Trinbagos Knight Rider’s in which they retained Dwayne Bravo.
The round two started with Guyana Amazon Warriors retaining Martin Guptill. Kane Williamson retained by St . Lucia Stars. Kumar Sangakkara retained by Jamaica Tallawahs. Chris Morris retained by St.Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Brendon McCullum was retained by Trinbagos Knight Rider’s.
Round three started with Guyana Amazon Warriors picking Chadwick Walton, the West Indian. Trident retained the Pakistani Star Shoaib Malik. St Lucia Stars retained the Australian All-Rounder , Shane Watson. Jamaica Tallawahs retained Bangladeshi All-Rounder Shakib ul Hassan. Pick number 5 was my favourite as St.Kitts and Nevis Patriots picked up Brisbane Heat’s stars, Ben Cutting. In the last pick Trinbagos Knight Riders retained Sunil Narine who was in for Lahore Qalandars in PSL 2017 picking up 10 wickets in 8 matches with an economy of 6.46. He also scored some handy runs with the bat.
Round four gets more exciting with big names. The Australian hard hitter, Chris Lynn was retained by Guyana Amazon Warriors. He was man of the tournament in BBL 2016-17. Tridents with their second pick of the round retained Dwayne Smith who performed well for Islamabad United in PSL 2017. In pick number three of the round 4, the most loved player in the world of cricket, Darren Sammy was retained by St.Lucia Stars. Imad Wasim was retained by Jamaica Tallawahs. The Afghani all-rounder M.Nabi was picked by St.Kitts and Nevis Patriots. Hashim Amla was retained by Trinbago Knight Riders in the last pick of the round 4.
In round 5, Riyad Emrit was retained by Guyana Amazon Warriors. Nicholas Pooran was retained by Tridents. Evin Lewis was retained by St.Lucia Stars and Darren Bravo was retained by Trinbago Knight Riders. The most surprising pick was Muhammad Sami to Jamaica Tallawahs.
In round 6, Rashid Khan the 18 years old from Afghanistan was picked up by Guyana Amazon Warriors. Wayne Parnell was Barbados Tridents.
In round 7, few exciting picks were taken. Wahab Riaz was picked up by Barbados Tridents. Marlon Samuels was picked up by St.Lucia. The 18 years old Shadab Khan was picked up by Trinbago Knight Riders after an impressive performance in PSL 2017, specially with the ball. In an interview Shadab said that he is very happy to be picked up in CPL and cannot wait to perform on big stages again. The man of the tournament of PSL 2017, Kamran Akmal was picked by St . Lucia Stars. Kamran might be a threat for the bowlers as he has been in great form in recent matches. Kamran has been more aggressive and has developed his game. Tymal Mills surprisingly was unpicked. I was disappointed knowing that Babar Azam went unpicked who has been developing day by day, match by match and CPL could be a great platform for him to develop more. AB De Villiers won’t be playing CPL this year. Ben Cutting will be playing his first season of CPL. He is a good all-rounder, he can hit, he can bat, a perfect all-rounder. Chris Lynn will be in action for Guyana Amazon Warriors, excited to watch him play! I really hope Chris Gayle will regain his form again and entertain!
I honestly think CPL is a great platform to perform and thus year I believe it will be more entertaining than last year. The tournament will be hosted by six countries including United States this year. My favourites for this year’s CPL are Jamaica Tallawahs as they’ve been doing good job like every year and I hope they retain the title this year. Players like Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill will be hopefully in hot for because everyone loves to party the West Indian way! The league starts this July in the heart of Caribbean Sea full of entertainment. Let’s hope to see some competition between the teams!