Caribbean Premier League just Around the corner

CPL logoPort of Spain, 26 June 2016 With the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) only three days away, we gathered the thoughts of some of the chief protagonists across all six teams and asked them to preview the forthcoming campaign and outline their vision for their respective teams.

The 2016 season is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet, with an array of West Indies and international stars set to descend on the Caribbean and Florida for the biggest party in sport.

Dr. Vijay Mallya (Barbados Tridents), Roger Harper (Guyana Amazon Warriors), Paul Nixon (Jamaica Tallawahs), Eric Simons (St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots), Stuart Williams (St. Lucia Zouks) and Simon Helmot (Trinbago Knight Riders) talk about their teams and share their exclusive thoughts ahead of the fourth instalment of the biggest party in sport.

Tickets for all CPL fixtures in the Caribbean and Florida are on sale now from www.cplt20.com.

Barbados Tridents Owner – Dr Vijay Mallya:

1)      What are your team’s plans coming together for the upcoming CPL season?

On the field we intend to win by playing good cricket. Our squad features several world class players who can change any game. Working together as a unit is important for our team’s success.

2)      Who are your team’s players to watch?

In T20 cricket, any player can be a match winner on his given day. However, with the likes of AB de Villiers, Shoaib Malik, Kieron Pollard and others we feel the Tridents will be a hard team to beat.

3)      Which one other player from another franchise are you most excited about watching at CPL 2016?

I’m looking forward to seeing what Brendon McCullum of the Trinbago Knight Riders can do in Caribbean conditions. He is another exciting world-class player who, on his day, can take the game over with the bat and in the field.

4)      What makes CPL such an exciting product?

The spirit of the fans, the atmosphere, Caribbean culture fusing with high-paced action-packed cricket. With that formula it is hard to not be exciting.

5)      What can fans expect at your home games this year?

Fans will witness an unparalleled experience never seen before in the Caribbean. They’ll have a chance to see their team in new kit and enjoy an improved stadium experience which will draw on their passion for the game. On the field, our team is focused on winning.

6)      Describe your team’s distinct traits / values in three words.

Committed to winning!

BARBADOS TRIDENTS: Kieron Pollard (captain), AB de Villiers, Shoaib Malik, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul, David Wiese, Robin Peterson, Raymon Reifer, Ashley Nurse, Wayne Parnell, Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Kyle Hope, Navin Stewart, Kyle Corbin, Steven Taylor, Shamar Springer

Coach: Robin Singh, Assistant Coach: Vasbert Drakes

Guyana Amazon Warriors Coach – Roger Harper:

1)         How are your team’s plans coming together for the upcoming CPL season?

We gathered for a one-week camp on 19th June and took that opportunity to sharpen our skills and build our team-spirit. 

2)         Who are your team’s players to watch?

Our international players, namely captain Martin Guptill, Dwayne Smith, Chris Lynn, Sohail Tanvir along with young Adam Zampa, will of course grab a lot of attention and we expect them to lead from the front.  We also have a number of regional and local players that will have a great impact on the CPL this year; players like Rayad Emrit, Christopher Barnwell and Veerasammy Permaul, just to name a few. However, the strength and performance of our squad as a whole is what will make us successful.

3)         Which one other player from another franchise are you most excited about watching at CPL 2016?

There are so many high quality and exciting players throughout the CPL that it is difficult to pick one.

4)         What makes CPL such an exciting product?

The Caribbean environment and the West Indian spirit is unique and brings a special flavour to the CPL product.

5)         What can fans expect at your home games this year?

The Warriors will always strive to make our fans proud and they can expect the Warriors to play quality, winning cricket at home. 

6)      Describe your team’s distinct traits / values in three words.

United, Determined, Focused.

GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS: Sohail Tanvir, Martin Guptill (captain), Dwayne Smith, Chris Lynn, Devendra Bishoo, Rayad Emrit, Adam Zampa, Jason Mohammed, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Orlando Peters, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble, Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs, Steven Katwaroo, Ali Khan, Shimron Hetmyer

Coach: Roger Harper, Assistant Coach: Esuan Crandon

Jamaica Tallawahs Coach – Paul Nixon:

1)      What are your team’s plans coming together for the upcoming CPL season?

Our plans are coming together well for this year’s CPL. The management group touched base several weeks ago discussing plans and our daily calendar through the tournament.  The schedule includes the Cricket sessions, leadership group chats, rest sessions, gym sessions from physiotherapy screening to rest and recovery sessions and managing the young bowlers’ workloads. Looking after our very important sponsors as well, it is crucial to help the Tallawahs grow our brand and our players are committed to do this. We are confident and happy with the direction we are heading at this early stage.

2)      Who are your team’s players to watch?

The players to watch in our team is a tough question as all have a match winning ability but to say a couple of names are Rovman Powell a very hard-hitting batsman and Jon-Russ Jaggesar who is a very skilled off-spinner who can spin it both ways and with great accuracy. Mohammad Khan and the team picked so many talented guys with strong mental belief. Our squad has age and experience combined with the vibrancy and energy of youth. 

3)      Which one other player from another franchise are you most excited about watching at CPL 2016?

We respect every one of our opposition teams but we don’t fear them. There are many world class players and I’m looking forward to seeing each team’s number 11 batsman walking back to the dressing room! It’s about us doing well and being calm under pressure with good decision-making in the heat of battle. One or two overs of super quality can win T20 cricket, so a good focus and mind-set is huge in the CPL.

4)      What makes CPL such an exciting product?

T20 has taken the cricketing world by storm. T20 cricket is very exciting and with the Draft making it a very fair pool of players for all teams to pick from, keeps it an open competition and keeps things on an even keel.  It’s about those who can execute their skills at the right time, create the team bonding and prepare well who will be the teams who will succeed. This year’s overseas players are as strong as they have ever been. The coaches facilitate the best way possible so the players are ready. Passion, the colour and vibrancy of the West Indian public also create a unique carnival atmosphere throughout this amazing competition. The West Indies, and Jamaica especially, have always set amazing standards in sport over many years it’s so it’s wonderful that cricket is again on the map. With the U19’s, the women and the men’s team doing so well recently, I have no doubt that CPL has played a huge part in this renaissance. The crowds are so knowledgeable, passionate and some of the most hospitable people on earth so together this adds to very special recipe called CPL. We all can’t wait to get this competition started and come 8 August our team will be aiming to holding the trophy again.

5)      What can fans expect at your home games this year?

Our fans can expect exciting, fearless and smart cricket, clear decision-making under pressure and quality entertainment.

6)      Describe your team’s distinct traits / values in three words.

Passionate, Entertaining & Fearless. We want to create a legacy for Jamaican cricket.

JAMAICA TALLAWAHS: Chris Gayle (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Imad Wasim, Dale Steyn, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Andre McCarthy, Jonathan Foo, Alex Ross, Kesrick Williams, Nkrumah Bonner, Garey Mathurin, Timroy Allen, O’shane Thomas

Coach: Paul Nixon, Assistant Coach: Mark O’Donnell

St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots Coach – Eric Simons:

1)      What are your team’s plans coming together for the upcoming CPL season?

We had a camp last week in St Kitts where all squad members who are not involved in other series or tournaments around the world got together and started working towards preparing for the tournament. It was a good time to get to know each other as people and cricketers and bond as a unit. In tournaments such as the CPL it is important to have a strong team culture and focus on working towards the team success.

2)      Who are your team’s players to watch?

There are the obvious established stars such as Lendl Simmons, Samuel Badree, Faf du Plessis and many others who would expect to make a significant impact on the tournament. Players like Carlos Braithwaite, who will be able to play a few matches for the Patriots, has the chance to build on his international reputation which, in many ways, started with the Patriots at CPL 2015. Young cricketers such as Evin Lewis and Alzarri Joseph who had such a successful ICC U19 Cricket World Cup campaign are others to watch and of course there is great excitement about Kieran Powell who is back in the game. The truth is the tournament will throw up surprises and it is tough to predict who the surprise will be, but every one of the Patriots squad is capable of being a match winner.

3)      Which one other player from another franchise are you most excited about watching at CPL 2016?

The change in international flavour this year makes for some interesting possibilities. The icon players will always be capable of winning matches singlehandedly. Adam Zampa, in particular, can add great strength to their teams bowling line-ups. Then with the West Indies once again being ICC World T20 champions there are a number of the world cup squad that will want to celebrate the World Cup success with stand-out performances in the tournament. Andre Russell grows each year as a match winner. I will also be watching the performances of players such as Nic Pooran and Rovman Powell during the course of the tournament with great interest.

4)      What makes CPL such an exciting product?

The tournament grows its brand each year and with more owners involved in franchises the identity of each becomes more distinct and stronger. The CPL is a highly competitive tournament with high quality cricket being played but has the distinct atmosphere of the Caribbean running through it. You can see from the international stars it has attracted again this year the high place the CPL holds on the world stage and that will only grow with each season.

5)      What can fans expect at your home games this year?

Exciting cricket. We have a squad capable of delivering a brand of cricket worth watching and with four homes games right at the start of the tournament we can build some momentum as we head out onto the road.

6)      Describe your team’s distinct traits / values in three words.

Committed, Capable, Together.

ST KITTS & NEVIS PATRIOTS: Lendl Simmons, Faf du Plessis (captain), Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite, Brad Hodge, Thisara Perera, Jonathan Carter, Krishmar Santokie, Evin Lewis, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kieran Powell, JJ Smuts, Devon Thomas, Shamarh Brooks, Tino Best, Jeremiah Louis, Nikhil Dutta, Alzarri Joseph

Coach: Eric Simons, Assistant Coach: Floyd Reifer

St. Lucia Zouks Coach – Stuart Williams:

1)         What are your team’s plans coming together for the upcoming CPL season?

A 4 day camp is scheduled before the first match. The intention is to take one match at a time.

2)         Who are your team’s players to watch?

I don’t want to single out anyone. Expecting a lot out of the team to include Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, better known as Mr. Cricket, David Miller and Morne Morkel. Also looking forward to great play from Johnson Charles and Andre Fletcher.

3)         Which one other player from another franchise are you most excited about watching at CPL 2016?

I am not looking at anyone from the other franchises.

4)         What makes CPL such an exciting product?

The progression of cricket and coming together. Playing in the Caribbean makes it different from any other. It’s sport but like a party.

5)         What can fans expect at your home games this year?

The Zouks has the best players (chuckles)! With Mr. Cricket Michael Hussey and Darren Sammy, fans can expect some exciting matches. I’m also looking to the Zouks to keep moving forward.

6)         Describe your team’s distinct traits / values in three words.

Camaraderie, Family, Entertaining.

  1. LUCIA ZOUKS: David Miller, Shane Watson, Darren Sammy (captain), Michael Hussey, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Morne Morkel, Denesh Ramdin (to be replaced by Miguel Cummins after 11 July), Derone Davis, Grant Elliott, Kristopher Ramsaran, Shane Shillingford, Delorn Johnson, Kyle Mayers, Keddy Lesporis, Nitish Kumar, Gidron Pope

    Coach: Stuart Williams, Assistant Coach: Trevor Penney, Bowling Coach: Sir Andy Roberts

Trinbago Knight Riders Coach – Simon Helmot:

1)        What are your team’s plans coming together for the upcoming CPL season?

We have players coming in from all over the world, from New Zealand and South Africa, some players have been playing in the County (Cricket) system, some are fresh off the IPL and having a rest and some domestic players here in Trinidad. So we’ve had our first training session in Queen’s Park Oval, so as long as there’s no rain and it’s nice and sunny, I’m sure we’ll have some great training sessions and prepare ourselves for the first match against the Zouks on 29th June!

2)        Who are your team’s players to watch?

We’ve got some superstars. Obviously our captain, ‘The Champion’ Dwayne Bravo, his brother Darren is available for some matches which is really exciting for us. They love playing in front of their home fans at Queen’s Park Oval. The Trinbago Knight Riders have recruited Brendon McCullum who is a superstar from New Zealand. Obviously Hashim Amla is one of the most wonderful cricketers and batsmen out of South Africa. So we’ve got some exciting cricketers playing with us this season and if we can gel well together, and play well together, then I’m sure we will have some success together.

3)        Which one other player from another franchise are you most excited about watching at CPL 2016?

This CPL has some superb talent right throughout every team that’s playing. It was very close last year with all four teams at the top winning six matches, but this year is going to be even tougher again. When we’re playing Barbados they’ll have the likes of Shaoib Malik and AB de Villiers. The Zouks have got ‘Mr. Cricket’ Mike Hussey and Shane Watson. Chris Lynn is playing out there in Guyana alongside Sohail Tanvir. Brad Hodge is playing for St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots alongside the likes of Lendl Simmons and Samuel Badree, who is one of a few Trinidad players who have moved around in the Draft system.

4)        What makes CPL such an exciting product?

The fans, the weather and I think the Carnival atmosphere makes CPL such an interesting, exciting and dynamic competition. The cricket is amazing, every venue has its own type of wicket and ground advantage. Every team has got some superstar skilled players. And, let’s face it, the West Indies have come off a superb last 12 months in T20 cricket in winning the coveted World T20. 

5)        What can fans expect at your home games this year?

It’s what we expect from the fans! We saw last year that the noise was electric, the support was just brilliant and I think the fans of Trinbago Knight Riders can expect us to play aggressive cricket, exciting cricket and cricket that they want to come and watch. Hopefully they see winning cricket.

6)        Describe your team’s distinct traits / values in three words.

Passion, Trust, Family.

TRINBAGO KNIGHT RIDERS: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine, Hashim Amla, Umar Akmal, Kevon Cooper, Sulieman Benn, Colin Munro, Anton Devcich, Ronsford Beaton, Nikita Miller, Javon Searles, William Perkins, Yannick Cariah, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Hamza Tariq, Anderson Phillip

Coach: Simon Helmot, Assistant Coach: Imran Jan, Chief Mentor: Jacques Kallis

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