As part of our countdown to the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League tournament we’ll be bringing you analysis of each team and the players we think are likely to have the biggest impact with bat and ball. Today, we’ve started with tournament newcomers St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Coach: Eric Simmons
The St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots are a new addition to this year’s Hero CPL, replacing the Antigua Hawksbills in the competition. The new boys will likely start the tournament as underdogs, but a solid draft means they shouldn’t be underestimated.
Their line up boasts several big hitting batsmen in Marlon Samuels and Martin Guptil, and that power continues all the way down the order with bowlers Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir both capable of hitting it miles. They also have a huge weapon in fast bowler Sheldon Cotterrell, who will be relied upon to give their bowling attack penetration and pace in equal measure. If he fires, watch out.
Afridi has had one of the great international careers of any cricketer in the modern era, taking 525 wickets and captaining his native Pakistan for several years. It was nearly twenty years ago when “Boom Boom” burst onto the scene – hitting the fastest one day century ever as a sixteen year old debutant. That record may have been broken, but Afridi’s ability to smash an attack all round the park remains as strong as ever.
Recently he has been plying his trade for Northants in the English domestic T20 tournament, and his form in that competition has been pretty good – Through five games he has taken five wickets at an average of 22.2 with the ball, and averaged 30 with the bat at his usual healthy strike rate.
Samuels may have a reputation for occasionally letting his concentration slip during the longer form of the game, but in T20 cricket he is a deadly performer. Despite playing only nine innings, his 332 runs in last year’s tournament were the sixth most by any batsman, and he and Guptil boasted two of the highest averages during said competition.
If he can repeat that this year, with a better supporting cast around him, Samuels could make St. Kitts a genuine contender for the playoffs. He also offers some ability with the ball and is an excellent fielder.
Strike Rate: 139.4
DFS Top Performance: 2395 pts v Guyana Amazon Warriors
Price: $17.4 million
A bowler by trade Tanvir ended up being St Lucia’s best batsman last season, averaging over 37 at a strike-rate of around 180. Despite his good form, he was not one of the four players retained by the Zouk’s coach Andy Roberts, and instead finds himself spearheading the batting line up for St. Kitts.
He’ll be hoping to improve upon last season’s tally of seven wickets, but his best attribute is his economy. Last season, Tanvir conceded runs at a rate of less than 6.5 per over. He also holds the distinction of being the only bowler to have taken three five wicket hauls in a single IPL, back in 2008.
Economy Rate: 6.47
DFS Top Performance: 1490 pts v Barbados Tridents
Brathwaite is another in a long line of young, talented, West Indian all-rounders who will be looking to cement their international credentials with a good CPL tournament. The fast bowler took nine wickets in last season’s tournament at an average of 23.78, and was particularly effective when the opposition were chasing. He also hit seven sixes in just 63 balls faced, proving he can strike the ball as hard as anyone when on form.
The 26 year old recently made his debut for the West Indian one day side against South Africa, although it wasn’t a particularly happy series for him as he went wicket-less in his four matches. However, he took three wickets and hit an unbeaten half century against Australia for the West Indies President’s XI, a sign that he may well possess international pedigree.
Economy Rate: 7.93
DFS Top Performance: 840 pts