England batsman Alex Hales and Sri Lanka seamers Lasith Malinga and Isuru Udana were among the big gainers in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League draft, bagging USD 160,000 each after being picked up in the first round. Hales went to Barbados Tridents, Malinga to St Lucia Stars, and Udana to St Kitts & Nevis Patriots.
Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo were retained by Jamaica Tallawahs and Trinbago Knight Riders respectively in the first round. Pakistan legspinner Shadab Khan, who missed CPL 2018, rounded off the first-round picks and will be in action for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the upcoming season.
Shadab is a like-for-like swap for Rashid Khan, who will instead feature as a marquee player in the Euro T20 Slam, which clashes with the CPL. Other CPL regulars such as Brendon McCullum, Luke Ronchi and Chris Lynn have also opted for the Euro T20 Slam over the CPL.
Kieron Pollard, who captained St Lucia Stars last season, has moved to his home franchise TKR, and will help fill the void left by the absence of Lynn and McCullum. Nicholas Pooran, who recently played for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, was picked up by the Amazon Warriors as their marquee player. Chris Gayle will return to his home franchise Tallawahs as their marquee name while Jason Holder will be Barbados Tridents’ marquee player.
Australia legspinner Fawad Ahmed, who was the highest wicket-taker last season, with 22 scalps in 13 games, was drafted in the second round by Stars.
Defending champions TKR retained Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Denesh Ramdin, Darren Bravo, USA fast bowler Ali Khan and Khary Pierre. They also added New Zealand seam-bowling allrounder James Neesham and Pakistan tearaway Mohammad Hasnain to their roster. Nineteen-year-old Hasnain hit speeds north of 150kph for Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League and was subsequently fast-tracked into the Pakistan squad.
Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane will move from Patriots to Tridents. A day after he broke into Pakistan’s World Cup squad, left-arm quick Wahab Riaz was retained by Tridents. He will be joined in the Tridents squad by Dominic Drakes, the son of former West Indies fast bowler Vasbert Drakes.
Sri Lanka wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella, who was ignored for the World Cup, found some cheer, getting a gig with Stars.
Mystery spin-bowling allrounder Mark Deyal, who has been part of Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel before, will team up with Sunil Narine for TKR. Carl Crowe, Narine’s spin coach who also works with TKR and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, has singled out Deyal as an “exciting” talent who can spin the ball both ways with his knuckles. Deyal had also impressed with the bat during his stint for Winnipeg Hawks in the inaugural Global T20 Canada.
Aside from Ali Khan, four other USA representatives were taken in the draft. They included USA captain Saurabh Netravalkar (Guyana Amazon Warriors), Xavier Marshall (Jamaica Tallawahs), Aaron Jones (St Kitts & Nevis Patriots) and Hayden Walsh Jr (Barbados Tridents). The only other North American player chosen was Canada’s Nitish Kumar, who was taken by St Lucia Stars having previously played for the same franchise when they were known as the Zouks back in 2016. It means USA batsman Steven Taylor, who has been a part of the CPL since 2015, misses out.