The Hero CPL Player Draft 2017 was filled with some exciting changes; the biggest of which will see Jamaican blaster Chris Gayle suit up for the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Hosted at the Lone Star Restaurant on the beautiful West Coast of Barbados this morning, over 250 players were up for grabs in this year’s edition of the tournament.
With restrictions on the number of retained players being relaxed for this year’s draft, all six teams opted to use this option, retaining between nine to twelve players from their 2016 squads.
The Jamaica Tallawahs were the only team not retaining a player at the highest paid cap of $160,000 after losing Chris Gayle via transfer to St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots. He will now be replaced in the Jamaican squad by Lendl Simmons, who makes his way over from the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Barbadian right-handed powerhouse Dwayne Smith was another player who crossed shores in this year’s draft, taking a $90,000 flight back home to play for the Barbados Tridents.
With Afghanistan making its mark on the world cricketing stage, the nation found itself twice lucky through Mohammed Nabi and Rashid Khan who will suit up for St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots and the Guyana Amazon Warriors respectively.
The likes of overseas stars David Miller, Sohail Tanvir, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson and Kumar Sangakarra will once again feature in the tournament alongside the biggest West Indian names of Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Darren Sammy.
Amongst this year’s young players to look out for Rovman Powell once again takes guard for the Jamaica Tallawahs, whilst Nicholas Pooran retained his place with the Barbados Tridents.
Surprise selection Rashawn Primus of Barbados makes his way into the Amazon Warriors’ side following his performances in the recent regional 4-day and 50-over tournaments.
The 2017 draft concluded with an interesting balance of both international and regional talent selected across all six sides, setting the stage for the promised biggest party in sport.
The party vibe was also present at today’s draft, as team owners and CPL management were joined by sponsors, cricket administrators and other specially invited guests to enjoy the beachside ambience at the Lone Star Restaurant.
West Indies Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams and West Indies cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers were also in attendance, much to the delight of the young cricket champions of the 2016 Herman Griffiths Primary School Cricket Championship – Bayley’s Primary, who received autographed miniature bats and soaked up the experience of being among cricketing greats.