July 6, 2020

Star-studded CPL set to explode into action on August 18


By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

All the six Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) franchises have selected their teams for the 2020 tournament which is scheduled to take place from August 18 to September 10. 

The draft was carried out remotely and the six teams have successfully filled out their rosters with both Caribbean and overseas players with Rashid Khan, Marcus Stoinis, Ross Taylor, Pravin Tambe and Carlos Brathwaite all being signed up. 

Launched in 2013, the CPL has become one of the leading franchise-based T20 tournaments of the world. It’s known for combining two of the most compelling aspects of Caribbean life, dramatic games and a vibrant carnival atmosphere. 

There was a combined broadcast and digital viewership of 312 million during the 2019 season to make it one of the fastest growing leagues in world cricket. In 2019 the tournament made a positive economic impact across the Caribbean of US$ 136 million. 

Barbados Tridents happen to be the current champions with Trinbago Knight Riders, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, St. Lucia Zouks and Jamaica Tallawahs being the other participants. 

Meanwhile the defending champions have signed the highly gifted Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, explosive English opener Alex Hales and versatile Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. Their other overseas players are Englishman Harry Gurney and Afghani Rahmanullah Gurbaz. They have retained the core of their championship winning side from last year and they have signed Kyle Mayers to join a strong set of Caribbean players. 

Trinbago Knight Riders have signed Pravin Tambe, a spinner, who will become the first Indian to play at the CPL. They have also brought back Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed who was part of their Championship winning team in 2018. They have signed New Zealand wicket keeper Tim Seifert and Zimbabwean batsman Sikandar Raza. The Knight Riders have retained the core of their local players for the 2020 season. 

The Guyana Amazon Warriors have retained 13 players from the team that went unbeaten during the league stage of last year’s tournament and have added New Zealander Ross Taylor and Afghani Naveen-ul-Haq. Imran Tahir, Chris Green, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford all return to the Amazon Warriors for 2020. 

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have signed Australians Chris Lynn and Ben Dunk and have also recruited Ish Sodhi of New Zealand and Sohail Tanvir of Pakistam. Rassie van der Dussen returns to the Patriots after a successful spell with the team in 2018 and they welcome back Fabian Allen, Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell and their captain Rayad Emrit. 

The Jamaica Tallawahs are looking to rebuild after a poor season in 2019 which saw them finish in last place in the table. They have recruited Carlos Brathwaite who was released by the Patriots. They have also signed Nepalese leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and South African left arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. They have brought in exciting Pakistani batsman Asif Ali and retained their leading run scorer from last season, Glenn Phillips. These overseas players will combine with a strong local contingent that includes Andre Russell, Rovman Powell and Oshane Thomas.

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Cricket in USA also affected by COVID-19


By Naeem-ul-Haq in USA
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

International cricket is set to return after nearly four months when England and the West Indies confront each other in the first Test match at Southampton on July 8 but cricket in the United States of America (USA) remains severely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Here in USA, quite a few events have been postponed or cancelled recently while others, slated for later this year, also remain uncertain because of the fluid situation caused by the deadly virus.

The second edition of the Champions Cup cricket tournament, which was scheduled to be organized by the Global Sports in Detroit, Michigan, on July 4, has been cancelled. 

The 15th edition of the Diversity Cup, having become one of the most sought after cricket tournaments of the country, originally planned to be held in August, has now been rescheduled for the Labor Day weekend, starting from September 5 to 7. 

The way things stand at the moment and the manner in which the COVID-19 fatalities and infections are rocking the country, I don’t foresee realistic hopes of the 15th Diversity Cup taking place in Detroit this September. Unlike the United Kingdom, the resumption of proper cricket activities in USA may still be far off in the prevailing scenario. 

As the cricket enthusiasts in the country are aware about it, the Diversity Cup, organized by the Global Sports, has been one of the most popular annual cricket events for the past one and a half decades. Its previous edition was held with the traditional fanfare in Detroit from July 19 to 21 last year. 

Meanwhile the inaugural edition of the Minor League T20 franchise tournament, being organized by the USA Cricket and the American Cricket Enterprises (ACE), has also been delayed by the pandemic. It was scheduled to commence from the July 4 weekend. 

According to the details, the organizers had identified four major conferences (West, Central, North East and South East) to spread the 22 participating teams in the inaugural event in which a total of 170 games were planned in the original schedule.

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