Aug 18, 2020 Sports
Hero CPL 2020…
By Zaheer Mohamed
Dubbed the biggest party in sport, this year’s edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League T20 will be a quiet affair due to the crowd restrictions caused by the pandemic. The tournament which bowls off today will see matches being played only in Trinidad and Tobago at two venues due to the travel restrictions which also resulted in many franchises missing some key players.
Today’s opening encounter will see the consistent Guyana Amazon Warriors facing Trinbago Knight Riders at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy from 10:00hrs.
This match is expected to set the tone for the rest of the tournament which is comprised of 33 games; 23 including the semi finals and final will be staged at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and 10 matches at the Queen’s Park Oval. There will be no advantage for the team winning the league stage as the top four teams will contest the semi finals.
In last years’ tournament, The Warriors played unbeaten until they lost to Barbados Tridents by 27 runs in final, however they will be looking to cross that final hurdle this time around and give their fans, who have been waiting for that magical moment for some time, much to cheer about.
Australian Chris Green will lead five-time finalists Warriors, who will be without regular captain Shoaib Malik. Green, who plays for Sydney Thunder in the BBL, was the most economical T20 bowler in 2019 and was even picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in the most recent IPL action.
Brandon King and Chandrapaul Hemraj have done well for the Warriors upfront with King emerging as the highest run-getter with 498 runs including a highest individual score of 132 not out against Barbados Tridents at Providence in 2019; his feat is also the highest individual score in the tournament history.
Hemraj will be looking to capitalise on his starts, while the Warriors middle order is more than competent, boasting two of the most dangerous batsmen in the region – Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran. Both players are proven match winners and once they get in, the opposition will steering down the barrel of sizeable totals, especially with support coming from the likes of Sherfane Rutherford and Ross Taylor.
Keemo Paul and Romario Shepherd are capable all-rounders and could play vital roles at crucial stages of the tournament.
Spin is expected to dominate particularly with the pitches set to deteriorate rapidly as the tournament progresses, and with Imran Tahir and Green the Warriors are not short in this department either.
Despite the absence of the fans, Knight Riders will still have home advantage as most of their players will cherish the conditions there. Lendl Simmons scored 430 runs in 2019 and he can be more dangerous playing at home, and so are Daren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine. Rashid Khan and Sunil Narine can prove lethal there and with support coming from Khary Pierre, The Knight Riders who have won the title thrice, possess one of the most dangerous bowling attacks in the tournament.
This will be McCullum’s second stint as Knight Riders’ coach in the CPL and he will want to make use of this experience before he heads to the UAE to take charge of the other Knight Riders franchise (KKR) in the IPL.
Teams; Guyana Amazon Warriors; Anthony Bramble, Ashmead Nedd, Brandon King, Chris Green, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Imran Tahir, Jasdeep Singh, Kevin Sinclair, Keemo Paul, Ross Taylor, Nicholas Pooran, Naveen-ul-Haq, Odean Smith, Qais Ahmad, Romario Shepherd, Sherfane Rutherford and Shimron Hetmyer.
Trinbago Knight Riders – Anderson Phillip, Amir Jangoo, Akeal Hosein, Ali Khan, Colin Munro, DJ Bravo, DM Bravo, Fawad Ahmed, Jayden Seales, Kharry Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Pravin Tambe, Sikandar Raza, Sunil Narine, Tion Webster and Tim Seifert.
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