CPL 2016 Team of the Tournament

  1. Johnson Charles (St Lucia Zouks) – Charles, an incumbent opener for the reigning World T20 champions, has muscled his way through CPL 2016, topping the run tallies with 410 runs. With the highest number of fifty-plus scores in the competition, he has been a key member in the St Lucia Zouks’ late season resurgence.
  2. Hashim Amla (Trinbago Knight Riders) – Although his season has tapered off towards the second half, his elegant style of run accumulation has produced a sum of 363 runs at a respectable strike-rate of 124.74. Although at the age of 33 he still has a few more years of international cricket, he looks well set to pursue a post-retirement career as a hired T20 gun.
  3. Chris Lynn (Guyana Amazon Warriors) – Although it probably would have been preferable to the Australian Test set-up for Lynn to participate in county cricket, refining his red-ball skills, experience against quality opposition in foreign conditions is always good for Australian batsmen. His ability to adapt his game to West Indian pitches bodes well for the future.
  4. Colin Munro (Trinbago Knight Riders) – The left-hander from New Zealand has the ability to inject dynamism into any T20 line-up: he is the owner of the second fastest T20I fifty off 14 balls (second to Yuvraj Singh’s mutilation of Stuart Broad’s bowling in 2007). This CPL season has seen his first T20 century, which he scored off 65 balls.
  5. Shane Watson (St Lucia Zouks) – Collecting 283 runs and 12 wickets in 10 matches, he has certainly satisfied the Zouks’ expectations of him for both bat and ball. Although his bowling form was simply a continuation on from IPL 2016 where he was a leading wicket-taker, his batting signalled a return to form as he capped off the season with four consecutive 30-plus scores.
  6. Nic Pooran (Barbados Tridents) – Pooran, a future star for the West Indies, has showcased his ball-striking ability with 217 runs at an exclamatory strike-rate of 197.27. Although he will only turn 21 in a couple months and has plenty of time to develop, the West Indies might turn to him, given Ramdin has fallen out of favour with the selectors.
  7. Dwayne Bravo (Trinbago Knight Riders) – Bravo, the leading wicket-taker of the competition with 19 wickets in ten innings, combines his skilful bowling with some handy ball striking. The fact that he has topped the wicket tallies of so many IPL’s and CPL’s demonstrates just how capable his bowling intelligence is, given that he doesn’t have express pace or a potent ability to move the ball.
  8. Sohail Tanvir (Guyana Amazon Warriors) – The canny quick has returned to top form, bowling economically and incisively for Guyana. Given Pakistan’s poor performance in the 2016 World T20 which prompted much soul-searching, Sohail Tanvir’s potential return to Pakistan colours is on the cards.
  9. Sunil Narine (Trinbago Knight Riders) – Unlike Saeed Ajmal, Narine has demonstrated an ability to adapt to a new bowling action. Although his bowling is not quite up to the impossible standards he set himself, he managed to take his 13 wickets at the very restrictive economy rate of 5.35.
  10. Dale Steyn (Jamaica Tallawahs) – Although American fans would be disappointed to not see him in Florida due to his required appearance at a South African awards presentation, he illustrated that he isn’t just potent with the red ball: compared to his supreme Test record, his Twenty20 stats are merely human. 12 wickets at 14.66 in 7 innings are certainly adequate for Steyn’s standards.
  11. Adam Zampa (Guyana Amazon Warriors) – A potential bolter for future Australian Test squads, Zampa has developed his spin bowling skills considerably since donning the green and gold colours at the start of 2016. Although he isn’t the next Warne by far, he has demonstrated remarkable control for a young leg-spinner.

CPL Playoffs Update

With the victory of Guyana over Barbados, the Playoffs for the 2016 Caribbean Premier League are set in stone. In Playoff 1, the Jamaica Tallawahs will be playing the Guyana Amazon Warriors. In Playoff 2, the St Lucia Zouks will be playing the Trinbago Knight Riders.

Baseball: a silver bullet for US cricket?

A couple of hours from now, the Caribbean Premier League will come to the US for the first time. In recent times, there has been some high quality cricket been played in the States in the form of exhibition Twenty20 Internationals and some Masters matches, but this round of five matches in Lauderhill, Florida marks the potential for a regular batch of games in the US.

But however much cricket is played in America, the fact remains that there is a dearth of home-grown talent to form a plausible team for the United States of America. Of the players in these CPL matches in Florida, only a handful such as Timroy Allen and Ali Khan are actually from the US. So, where could the US get their players from? The answer could lie in baseball.

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Can the West Indies’ T20 stars resurrect their Test side?

After the dust has settled from Carlos Brathwaite’s World T20-winning quartet of sixes, I am sure that the following question has flashed across the minds of fans of this charismatic West Indies side: if they can dominate Twenty20 cricket, why can’t they perform in Test cricket? Although success in one format does not necessarily translate into success in the other, some of this talent should be transferable. In the wake of another innings defeat today, the question has to be asked: in the event that everyone was available, how much better could the West Indian Test side be?

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Look on the bright side of life, Jason!

Barbados_beaches_2007_033
“Barbados beaches 2007 033” by Veronidae – Own work. Licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barbados_beaches_2007_033.jpg#/media/File:Barbados_beaches_2007_033.jpg

Rightly or wrongly, in September 2015, the West Indies Cricket Board decided to hand the reins of the Test team from 66-Test stalwart wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin over to the 23-year-old medium-fast bowling all-rounder with sixteen wickets from eight matches. That young man’s name is Jason Holder.

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