Mohammad Nabi’s presence at Zouks will help fill the void created by Chris Gayle pulling out
Afghanistan allrounder Mohammad Nabi, Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane, and Australian batsman Ben Dunk headlined the CPL 2020 draft that was held virtually on June 24. All three players fetched deals worth USD 130,000 each, with Nabi being the first pick in the draft. The CPL is scheduled to be played in Trinidad & Tobago between August 18 and September 10 behind closed doors, subject to the permission from the local government.
Nabi had been part of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in 2017 and was snapped up by St Lucia Zouks, who finished second from bottom last season in the six-team league.
A total of 537 players had registered for the draft, but a few names including New Zealand fast bowler Tim Southee and England batsman Ravi Bopara pulled out. No player in the drafted attracted the top price of USD 160,000. That was mainly because the CPL allowed the six franchises to sign overseas players outside of the draft for the first time.
Accordingly, Australian batsman Chris Lynn was signed by St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, while Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan was snapped by defending champions Barbados Tridents. Both players are understood to have fetched USD 160,000. Rashid’s Afghanistan team-mate Qais Ahmad was signed by Guyana Amazon Warriors while South African batsman Rilee Rossouw was hired by the Zouks.
Nabi will help fill the void created by the absence of Chris Gayle, who pulled out of CPL 2020, citing personal reasons. Lamichhane, who had played for the champions Barbados Tridents last season before leaving midway through the tournament for international duty, will turn out for Jamaica Tallawahs in the upcoming season. He is set to team up with former West Indies and Patriots captain Carlos Brathwaite at Tallawahs. It is understood that the 31-year old big-hitting allrounder was bought for USD 110,000.
As for Alex Hales, he was the only Englishman to be picked up in the draft, with reigning champions Tridents retaining him for USD 70,000. Hales, who was the first pick in the 2019 CPL draft, had an underwhelming stint that year, managing 197 runs in 12 innings at an average of 16.41 and strike rate of 124.68. Hales hasn’t been involved with England since being dropped from the World Cup last year following a positive drug test.
Dunk was rewarded for his hot form in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Mzansi Super League (MSL), getting a gig with Patriots. He had been part of the CPL back in 2014, when he represented the now-defunct Antigua Hawksbills. Dunk was the top-scorer in the last MSL, with 415 runs in 10 innings at a strike rate touching 150. He then tallied 266 runs in seven innings, striking at an incredible 186.01 in PSL 2020, which was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
England’s batting sensation Tom Banton, and his captain Eoin Morgan went unsold, as did former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi. Quite a few high-profile Pakistan players, including Shoaib Malik and Wahab Riaz, were set to play CPL 2020, but the tour to England meant they were all unavailable for the league. T20 specialists Asif Ali and Sohail Tanvir, though, were selected by Tallawahs and Patriots respectively.
Afghanistan players in demand
Nabi wasn’t the only Afghanistan player to make a splash at the draft. Fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq will join legspinner Qais Ahmad at Guyana Amazon Warriors while exciting wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz will play for defending champions Barbados Tridents. Gurbaz has a variety of unorthodox strikes in his repertoire like his idol AB de Villiers. After leading Afghanistan to a 2-1 T20I series win over a full-strength West Indies side, led by Kieron Pollard, in India, the teenager cracked an 18-ball half-century on his Bangladesh Premier League debut for Khulna Tigers in Dhaka.
Noor Ahmad, all of 15 years old, got a gig with Stars. The left-arm wristspinner has a big-turning wrong’un in his repertoire, and was particularly threatening against right-handers in the 20-over Shpageeza league. Against right-handers, he took six wickets in 130 balls while conceding 131 runs. All up, he claimed eight wickets in the league and was named the Emerging Player of the tournament. He then went onto play for Afghanistan in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year in South Africa.
Tambe signs with TKR
Forty-eight-year old Pravin Tambe, the former Mumbai and Rajasthan Royals legspinner, was picked up by Trinbago Knight Riders for USD 7,500. Earlier in 2019, Tambe was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL auction, but was forced to withdraw later after the BCCI pulled him up for playing in unsanctioned cricket leagues like the T10 League. Tambe was one of the two Indians in the CPL draft along with former Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman Asad Pathan, who found no takers.
Zimbabwe allrounder Sikandar Raza also went to TKR for USD 7,500, as did fast bowler Anderson Phillip. Australian legspinner Fawad Ahmed was back at TKR after playing for Stars last season. In 2018, Ahmed had spun TKR to back-to-back title wins, taking 22 wickets in 13 games at an impressive economy rate of 6.18.
Locals rewarded for Super 50 form
Chemar Holder, who broke into West Indies’ Test squad for the England tour, will join Kesrick Williams at Zouks. Mystery-spin bowling allrounder Mark Deyal, who can turn the ball both ways with his knuckles, switched from TKR to Zouks.
The standout performers in the Super50 Cup – West Indies’ domestic 50-over tournament – were rewarded with CPL contracts. Wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva, who is currently on tour with the national Test side in the UK, was drafted by Patriots. Da Silva hit 310 runs in nine innings in West Indies Emerging team’s run to the title. Nkrumah Bonner, who has been among the runs in both the Super 50 and the four-day format, was picked up by Tallawahs.
Batsman Tion Webster was retained by TKR while 33-year old left-arm fingerspinner Dennis Bulli went to Patriots. Bulli took 12 wickets in six games at an economy rate of 5.28 for Jamaica in the Super 50.
The CPL has told all franchises to assemble their squads from August 1, with the players and support staff having to undergo a two-week period in quarantine before the tournament gets underway on August 18.
Trinbago Knight Riders: Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Fawad Ahmed, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Khary Pierre, Tim Seifert, Sikandar Raza, Anderson Phillip, Pravin Tambe, Jayden Searles, Amir Jangoo, Tion Webster, Akeal Hosein, Ali Khan.
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Imran Tahir, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Ross Taylor, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Green, Qais Ahmad, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Naveen-ul-Haq, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Kevin Sinclair, Ashmead Nedd, Odean Smith, Anthony Bramble, Jessy Singh.
St Lucia Zouks: Rilee Rossouw, Mohammad Nabi, Daren Sammy, Colin Ingram, Andre Fletcher, Kesrick Williams, Anrich Nortje, Chemar Holder, Obed McCoy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Mark Deyal, Noor Ahmad, Kimani Melius, Leniko Boucher, Kavem Hodge, Javelle Glen, Saad Bin Zafar.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots: Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Rassie van der Dussen, Sohail Tanvir, Ish Sodhi, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Rayad Emrit, Dennis Bulli, Alzarri Joseph, Joshua Da Silva, Dominic Drakes, Colin Archilbald, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Sunny Sohal.
Barbados Tridents: Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Marcus Stoinis, Harry Gurney, Alex Hales, Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Hayden Walsh Jr, Ashley Nurse, Jonathan Carter, Raymon Reifer, Kyle Mayers, Joshua Bishop, Nyeem Young, Justin Greaves, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shayan Jayangir.
Jamaica Tallawahs: Andre Russell, Sandeep Lamichhane, Carlos Brathwaite, Rovman Powell, Tabraiz Shamsi, Glenn Phillips, Chadwick Walton, Oshane Thomas, Asif Ali, Fidel Edwards, Preston McSween, Andre McCarthy, Nicholas Kirton, Jeavor Royal, Nkrumah Bonner, Veerasammy Permaul, Ryan Persaud.
Source: ESPN Crickinfo