Will Rayad Emrit lead a new-look St Kitts and Nevis Patriots to maiden title?
Corlette’s CPL team review…
By Brandon Corlette
The St Kitts and Nevis Patriots have had some moments of brilliance in past Caribbean Premier League (CPL) seasons, and have, for the 2020 season, returned with a new-look team led by the Trinidadian pair of captain Rayad Emrit and veteran wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, who will enjoy playing in home conditions respectively at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and at the Queen’s Park Oval.
Patriots came into existence in 2015, replacing the Antigua Hawksbills, and their performance in the last five editions of the Hero CPL has been mixed at best, with telltale signs of inconsistency being revealed in the last three tournaments.
In 2015 and 2016 they ended sixth on the table, 3rd in 2018, and 4th in 2019. Their best result came in 2017, when they ended as runners-up to Trinbago Knight Riders. Patriots’ top gun players are Sohail Tanvir, Evin Lewis, Chris Lynn, Sheldon Cottrell, Emrit, Ish Sodhi and Ben Dunk, who are all explosive T20 players in their own right.
Local seam bowlers Cottrell, Joseph and Emrit, along with veteran Pakistani pacer Sohail Tanvir, will provide an unorthodox left-arm option. Sodhi is an experienced campaigner across leagues on the globe, and his leg-spin will come in very handy for the Patriots.
The Patriots’ batting may face some amount of danger of crumbling, as apart from Lynn, Dunk, Lewis and Ramdin, others are a tad ‘green’, and it remains to be seen how well they can handle the pressure. However, Kieran Powell is also with the Patriots, and he would also provide some power to the Patriots.
Rising Star Joshua Da Silva, who is fresh from a stint with the West Indies team in England, will also fancy his chances for a ‘spot’ in the batting line up.
To top it off, the Patriots have lost the services of the experienced Fabian Allen, an all-rounder who could have given them another spin option along with Sodhi. He missed the flight from Jamaica to Barbados, leading to his ouster from the CPL 2020.
Patriots have also equipped themselves with some good local players in Dominic Drakes, Imran Khan, Colin Archibald, Jon Russ Jaggesar, and Jahmar Hamilton.
Power-hitter Evin Lewis
is a ‘six’ machine. This left-handed opening batsman has 111 sixes in CPL, behind only Chris Gayle in the leader board. His strike rate of 143 is also one of the highest in the CPL. Lewis initially made his name in the T20 circuit in the 2013 Champions League when he was among five players to score over 200 runs in the tournament. In the semi-finals of the tournament, he scored 62 off 46 balls against a strong Mumbai Indians attack that included Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson and Harbhajan Singh.
This will be the seventh season that Lewis is playing for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. He is the top scorer of the team in CPL with 1552 runs with 13 half-centuries. Last season, Lewis scored 265 runs after a poor showing in 2018, when he scored only 126 runs.
Captain Emrit to the rescue
Emrit is one of the most experienced players in the history of CPL. He is the third highest wicket-taker in the CPL, and has played the fourth most matches of any player.
After playing the last three seasons for the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Emrit moved to the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in CPL 2019, and will now be playing a second consecutive season with them in the 2020 edition.
In his 75 matches, the experienced Emrit has taken 85 scalps at an average of 23.4, and will now be seeking to use all his experience to lead the new Patriots team in his literal backyard of Trinidad & Tobago.
Patriots squad reads: Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk, Evin Lewis, Nick Kelly, Sohail Tanvir, Ish Sodhi, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Rayad Emrit, Imran Khan, Alzarri Joseph, Joshua de Silva, Dominic Drakes, Colin Archibald, Jon Russ Jaggesar, Jahmar Hamilton