GAW adds Ross Taylor, Naveen-ul-Haq to power packed CPL 2020 squad
…big names drawn for other franchises
By Jemima Holmes
With question marks lingering about the possibility of a Hero Caribbean Premier
League (CPL) 2020 season being hosted in the midst of a global pandemic, the CPL has quelled all fears around the Caribbean and in the wider world, hosting the highly-anticipated players’ draft on Monday. It was also confirmed that the tournament will be hosted from August 18 to September 10.
And at long last, fans were able to get a glimpse of the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) 2020 squad, which is predominantly made up of Guyanese nationals. Similarly, to 2019, the Warriors’ management has picked eight Guyanese in their
GAW have sought to retain 13 players from their 11-win streak 2019 team while adding the brilliance of New Zealander Ross Taylor and fresh faces of Guyanese
Ashmead Nedd, Naveen-ul-Haq Murid and Jasdeep Singh to what can be considered a youthful, powerhouse team.
As previously released to the media, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Anthony Bramble, Odean Smith, emerging player Kevin Sinclair, Brandon King and Nicholas Pooran were retained prior to the draft. The international retainees included Chris Green, Imran
Tahir, and Quais Ahmad.
Tahir took the number 1 spot in the draft and rightfully so. Tahir is most famous for his legendary take-off to the boundary whenever he picks up a wicket, but this flamboyant celebration is merited on Tahir’s 365 T20 wickets from just 290 games
with best figures of 5-23.
During the draft, which was hosted live on social media platforms on Monday, July 6, the Warriors added Taylor to their line-up. Taylor, who has previously featured in the CPL for the St Lucia Zouks and the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, brings
decades of experience to the Guyanese camp with 273 T20 games under his belt. The middle-order batsman has 6140 T20 runs with a highest score of 111* and was picked up in Round 5 of the draft.
Afghanistan national Naveen-ul-Haq is a right-arm medium-fast bowler, having played 35 T20s, picking 36 wickets and a best bowling figure of 3-21. Jasdeep
Singh comes to the Amazon Warriors from the United States of America being the team’s mandatory American player. Singh, who made his United States team debut back in 2015, is an all-rounder bowling right-arm medium pace. Singh has featured in 7 T20s with a high score of 31 and best bowling figures of 2-18.
Guyanese and West Indies Under-19 player Ashmead Nedd, who has never
played international T20s before, bring his mysterious left- arm orthodox to the Warriors’ camp. Nedd has been a shining star, featuring in the victorious West Indies Emerging Players team in the 2019 Super50 Cup and is the highest wicket-taker (11 wickets from six games) in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup.
The likes of Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, and Shimron Hetmyer need no
introduction, having been a staples of the West Indies squad in recent years. Pooran, who is known for his pinch hitting, joined the Warriors last season as their Marquee player and did not disappoint as he steered the local side to numerous wins, such as his 54 off 35-ball blitz to pick up a 10th straight win for the Warriors in 2019.
Jamaican national Brandon King fitted right into the Warriors team in 2019 and
based on his stellar performance at the top of the order, he was kept on with the Warriors. Thousands of Guyanese fans watched in awe at the Providence Stadium when King blasted the Barbadian bowling for 132 runs off 72 balls, in what became the highest individual score in CPL history.
Hetmyer, who has an average of 24.08 from 55 T20s played, is a local hero, with his highest score being 100. The 23-year-old, who made his CPL debut in 2016, is known for his ability to execute class shots and his insatiable love for getting the
ball over the boundary line.
Saxacalli’s Keemo Paul has proven time and time again to be a valuable T20 asset, with masterful bowling, especially in the death overs. With best bowling figures of 5-15 and 51 wickets in T20s, Paul proved in the previous CPL season that he is a multifaceted player, contributing with the bat in numerous games. Being that impressive, both Paul and Hetmyer were picked up by the Delhi Capitals for the Indian Premier League.
Alongside Hetmeyer, Sherfane Rutherford is also known for bringing the heat with a T20 average of 25.43. His best outing to date.
Having fit into the local squad so well, Chris Green is Guyanese by heart and the spin bowling pretty boy has best T20 figures of 4-14, which he picked up on home turf, at Providence. Also returning to the Guyanese squad is Afghan player Quais Ahmad. The 19-year-old has 59 wickets to his name with best figures of 5-18.
The Warriors also retained the likes of Romario Shepherd; Chandrapaul Hemraj, who has been King’s mighty companion up the order; Anthony Bramble and Odean Smith. They have also signed all-round sensation Kevin Sinclair, who was part of the victorious West Indies Emerging Players squad in the 2019 Super50 cup.
This year’s defending champions, the Barbados Tridents, have signed superstar Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan as their top pick in the draft. Khan, who is no stranger to the Biggest Party in Sport, has 256 wickets from 211 T20 games across the globe. The Tridents have also signed Australian talisman Marcus Stoinis and retained Englishmen Alex Hales and Harry Gurney. Their drafted crop includes internationals Afghani Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Shayan Jahangir. Joshua Bishop and Kyle Myers are the Caribbean players, who have been added to the team’s robust local players who led them to a championship last year.
Jason Holder, Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Hayden Walsh Jr, Ashley Nurse, Jonathan Carter, Raymon Reifer, Nyeem Young and Justin Greaves were all retained upfront for the Barbados Tridents.
Trinidad and Tobago Knight Riders
Trinidad and Tobago have signed the only Indian national in the Hero CPL 2020 and the first ever to be featured in the tournament’s eight-year history, superstar spinner Pravin Tambe. Tambe has played 61 T20 matches with 67 wickets, with best bowling figures of 4-15. After retaining 11 players from their 2019 team, the Knight Riders went on to bolster their spin department with the signing of leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, who was part of their championship-winning 2018 team. New Zealand wicketkeeper Tim Seifert, Anderson Phillip, and Zimbabwean all-rounder batsman Sikandar Raza have been drafted by the Knight Riders.
Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Jayden Seales, Amir Jangoo, Tion Webster, and Akeal Hosein were kept on by the Knight Riders in the initial retention phase.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
T20 globetrotter Chris Lynn was picked up at the earliest possible time by the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and the Australian is expected to boost the Patriots’ top order with his renowned power hitting. Previously featuring in the Jamaica Tallawahs and the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Lynn has played 184 T20s with 5096 runs and a high score of 113. Opening batsman Ben Dunk was also drafted early by the Patriots, while their signings included Ish Sodhi, Sohail Tanvir and Rassie van der Dussen, who returns to the Patriots after a successful spell with the team in 2018. USA player Sunny Sohal joins local Caribbean talents Colin Archibald, Jon Russ Jagessar, Dennis Bulli, and Joshua Da Silva.
Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Rayad Emrit, Alzarri Joseph, and Dominic Drakes were the first batch of players to be retained by the Patriots.
Having only retained four players prior to the draft, the Jamaica Tallawahs almost had a fresh slate to write on for CPL 2020. In an attempt to revamp following a dismal season in 2019, the Tallawahs scooped up Nepal spin sensation Sandeep Lamichhane. The former Barbados Tridents and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots players brings a mysterious spell to the Tallawahs outfit with 105 wickets from 77 matches and a best bowling figure of 4-10 in T20s. South African Trabaiz Shamsi will also boost the Jamaican spin department. Pakistani all-rounder Asif Ali and the retained Glenn Phillips complete Jamaica’s International picks. The Tallawahs went on to draft West Indies veteran Fidel Edwards and Guyanese wicket-taker Veerasammy Permaul, along with Preston Mcsween, Andre McCarthy, Nicholas Kirton, Jeavor Royal, Nkrumah Bonner, and Ryan Persaud.
Andre Russell, Rovman Powell, Oshane Thomas, and Chadwick Walton were the four to be initially retained by the Jamaica Tallawahs.
St Lucia Zouks
Having missed out on the best T20 batsman in the world, Chris Gayle, the St Lucia Zouks were keen to pick up South African top-order batsman Rilee Russouw. Russouw brings the experience of 199 T20s to the Zouks with 4934 runs and a high score of 100*. Fellow South African right-arm fast bowler Anrich Nortje, Afghan bowler Mohammad Nabi, Noor Ahmad and Saad Bin Zafar are the international picks, alongside Colin Ingram, who has been retained. Chemar Holder, Mark Deyal, Leniko Boucher, and Javelle Glen are the Caribbean additions.
Daren Sammy, Andre Fletcher, Kesrick Williams, Obed McCoy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kimani Melius and Kavem Hodge were the first players to be retained for the Zouks.