If you’re craving for T20 cricket and have been missing the Champions Trophy heroes in action, you need not worry as the wait is over. The fifth edition of the Caribbean Premier League commences on August 4. This time the CPL is bigger and better than ever, and you’ll see ten Pakistani players in action. Wondering who these ten players are? Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered.
The wonderboy Shadab Khan could not have asked for a better start to his career; from bamboozling batsmen in the PSL to taking Yuvraj Singh’s wicket in the Champions Trophy final, the teenager from Mianwali has been on a roll. On his debut earlier this year against the Windies in the Caribbean, he bagged ten wickets for 75 runs in 4 T20s and was named player of the series. Shadab will be playing for Trinbago Knight Riders alongside the spin wizard Sunil Narine, and their partnership is bound to give nightmares to the batsmen.
The world’s No. 1 T20I bowler as per the ICC, Imad Wasim, will continue to represent the defending champions and two time winners, Jamaica Tallawahs. Imad was the man of the match in the final last year, and his contribution throughout the tournament proved instrumental in his team's progress. He took 11 wickets at an average of 17.63 and an impressive economy rate of 5.59.
Imad’s wickets in the final last year
Imad will be joined by Mohammed Sami, the veteran fast bowler who bowled a few deadly spells for his PSL team Islamabad United earlier this year and his last over heroics (defended four runs against Quetta Gladiators) earned the franchise a place in the playoffs.
Sami defended five in the last over of this year’s PSL
Sohail Tanvir loves the Caribbean Premier League and why not. He is the all time second-highest wicket taker of the tournament with 20 wickets at an average of 14.85 and an economy rate of 6.45. The all-rounder will continue to play for Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Sohail Tanveer is all time second-highest wicket taker of the tournament
Babar Azam, who still isn’t considered to be a T20 specialist, will make his CPL debut for the Warriors, replacing the injured Chris Lynn, the leading run scorer last year. This tournament will provide Babar Azam a perfect platform to prove his mettle as a T20 player.
Babar Azam will replace Chris Lynn
Barbados Tridents won the CPL in 2014 and it would not have been possible without the contribution of Shoaib Malik who remained not-out on 55 and also bagged the man of the match award in the final against Guyana Amazon Warriors. Earlier this year, Shoaib Malik also helped seal an ODI series victory with a hundred against West Indies, and he would surely like to continue from where he left off in the Caribbean. In 10 matches for Barbados Tridents, Malik has scored 263 runs at an average of 32.87 and a strike rate of 110.04.
Malik was awarded man of the match for his not out 55 in CPL 2014
Wahab Riaz is making a comeback since he got injured during that humiliating spell against India in the Champions Trophy. It will be interesting to see if he can regain form and knock on the selectors’ doors once again.
St Kitts & Nevis signed Hassan Ali and Mohammed Hafeez this season, replacing Ben Cutting and Kieran Powell. Hassan Ali is *the* hot property in international cricket at the moment and for all the right reasons; he was the highest wicket-taker in the Champions Trophy, inspired his team to clinch the title and not only did he bag award after award but also etched his place in the hearts of the fans forever. The CPL’s batsmen need to beware of incoming Hassan Ali celebrations.
Hassan Ali- the time bomb
This is Hafeez’ second stint in the CPL, having previously played for Guyana Amazon Warriors. He will prove to be an asset for the franchise, now that he has been cleared by the ICC to bowl as well.
This is Hafeez’ second stint in the CPL
He might not be among the highest paid cricketers in this edition of the CPL but on his day Kamran Akmal can prove to be the most destructive of batters. His last outing in the Caribbean earlier this year wasn’t all that despite his prolific batting form in the PSL for his team Peshawar Zalmi (highest run scorer of the tournament) and he was also the top scorer in the last season of first class. Kamran will be playing for St. Lucia Stars alongside his Zalimi teammate and captain, Darren Sammy.
Akmal was the highest run scorer of this year’s edition of PSL
St Lucia Stars and Trinbago Knight Riders will kickoff proceedings in the tournament opener on 4th August. The CPL final is scheduled to be played on September 9.
*A special thank you to Taimoor Zaman @taimoorze for the gifs contribution.