West Indies cricketers will have the most cricket under their belt coming into the Indian Premier League (IPL) after successfully completing the eighth edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Trinbago Knight Riders, led by three iconic IPL figures in Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine, made history as they went unbeaten throughout the tournament and lifted the trophy at the end.
In recent years, West Indies cricketers have dominated T20 leagues across the world and the IPL is no different. At the heart of most franchises is a West Indian cricketer who makes the team complete. Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo have been multiple time winners of the Orange Cap and Purple Cap awards whereas Andre Russell is hailed as one of the best T20 players currently. More often than not, the form of the players before the IPL is not important but these players, who were involved in the CPL, would be hoping to continue their fine form into the best T20 League of the world.
He successfully led the Trinbago Knight Riders to their fourth CPL trophy and was rightly awarded the Player of the Tournament award. In just seven innings, he stacked up 207 runs at a massive average of 51.75 and a mammoth strike rate of 204.95. Even on those low scoring pitches in the Caribbean, Pollard smashed the joint-most number of sixes in the tournament and seemed unplayable on most occasions. Mumbai Indians will be hoping ‘Polly Kaka’, as he is fondly known as, continues his great run of form in the 2020 IPL edition and helps the team to retain the title.
He finished the 2020 CPL as the fourth-highest run-getter of the tournament and helped his team make it to the playoffs of the competition. He scored three fifties and averaged 33.37 throughout the tournament. His strike rate was a shade under his career strike rate but that could be due to the pitches he encountered in Trinidad. Delhi Capitals will be hoping that this is just a teaser of what is going to unfold in the UAE. He struggled in his debut IPL campaign in 2019 with the limited opportunities he got with the Royal Challengers Bangalore but would want to turn it around this year with his new franchise.
‘Dre Russ’ finished CPL 2020 on a high, statistically speaking, but failed to reach the final of the tournament. He just bowled 13 overs throughout the tournament amidst injury concerns but with the bat, he was lethal as always. He scored 222 runs in the tournament at an average of 44.40 and struck the ball at 141.40. Last season, in the IPL, Russell defied all the logic and had his personal best campaign. For the upcoming season as well, he’ll be the trump card for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
This West Indian cricketer will be a wildcard for Kings XI Punjab in the upcoming season of the IPL. He finished the CPL 2020 as the fifth-highest scorer and was the only centurion of the tournament. The way Punjab will use him will be fascinating to see. From the outside it seems that they can’t play him along with another West Indian legend Chris Gayle in the ranks. They’ll have to alternate between the two and use them efficiently.
Dwayne Bravo became a four-time CPL champion with the Trinbago Knight Riders. He’ll fondly remember this tournament for a long time as he made history by becoming the first man on this planet to take 500 T20 wickets. On the same day, he also became the first player in the CPL to take 100 wickets in the history of the tournament. His consistency with the ball is remarkable as he again managed to pick nine wickets in the season. Didn’t get many opportunities with the bat as his team was extremely dominant throughout the tournament. But as for Bravo, it seems like the T20 G.O.A.T is saving his best for the IPL when he dons the iconic yellow jersey of Chennai Super Kings again.
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