London’s Gfinity eSports Arena will host the 2019 Caribbean Premier League draft this Wednesday, May 22. The tournament’s seventh edition has a record 537 players from over 20 countries being considered by the six franchises.
Of the 43 names from Associate Members; 25 are from the ICC Americas region. There is a single squad spot reserved for ICC Americas players, so in effect, a minimum of six should be drafted. Any other Associates (from the Americas or otherwise) will be treated as overseas and count towards to the squad maximum of five and four per starting XI.
34-year-old Irfan Pathan makes a surprise appearance on the draft list. His brother Yusuf was the last noteworthy Indian male player linked to a T20 event outside the IPL when the Kowloon Cantons announced he was to play in the 2017 Hong Kong T20 Blitz. His No Objection Certificate (NOC) was rescinded by Indian cricket authorities shortly after the news broke across the world.
Two of the CPL teams have new owners for 2019 with both Barbados and St Kitts & Nevis passing into new hands, the latter now owned by Hong Kong’s City Sports Group.
The 2018 event saw the emergence of USA speedster Ali Khan onto the global T20 scene, his 16 wickets accompanied an impressive economy rate of 7.8. He came joint-third on the wickets tally and played a critical role in the Trinbago Knight Riders’ third CPL title.
Each franchise is able to retain players from last season’s squads. These will be announced on Wednesday prior to the draft and are capped at a maximum of:
- Three (3) West Indian players
- One (1) Overseas player
- The team’s Marquee Player from 2018
- The team’s ICC Americas Player from 2018
Each team can draft a maximum of five overseas players but only four of these players will be allowed in each starting XI. The mandated ICC Americas player does not count in this overseas category.
Hong Kong connection
City Sports Group took control of SKN Patriots in February this year. The group came to initial prominence during the HK T20 Blitz as the main sponsor of inaugural joint-champions Kowloon Cantons, who featured Michael Clarke and Sandeep Lamichhane in 2016. Lamichhane played for the Patriots in 2018.
When the Blitz expanded to five sides in its second year City’s bid was successful for the new franchise; City Kai Tak was runner-up in its first season. The team featured players such as Kyle Coetzer (SCO), Anshy Rath (HK), Nicholas Pooran (WI), Chris Jordan (ENG) and Sohail Tanveer (PAK) over its two seasons.
It was announced in September that the HK Sixes and T20 Blitz, originally scheduled for October 2018 and March 2019 respectively, had been postponed to late 2019 as part of Cricket Hong Kong’s “Festival of Cricket” initiative which will include both events.
However, since the men’s team dropped out of contention for the new ICC CWC League 2, resulting in a substantial reduction in funding compared with that received in the last cycle – and since no official announcement has since been made about the event, there are fears for the Blitz’s future.
The “Bloem City Blazers” – one of the eight franchises slated to take part in the ill-fated, and ultimately aborted T20 Global League in South Africa – was also owned by the group.
Beyond players from recent Full Members Ireland and a large contingent of Afghan representatives, the 43 Associate names come from Canada, USA (12 each), Hong Kong (5), Bermuda, Nepal, Scotland, UAE (3 each), Kenya (2). Bermuda, Oman (1 each).
Full list of Associate players in 2019 CPLT20 Draft:
Bermuda: Kamau Leverock
Canada: Rizwan Cheema, Nikhil Dutta, Jeremy Gordon, Davy Jacobs, Faisal Jamkhandi, Abraash Khan, Rayyan Pathan, Junaid Siddiqui, Hamza Tariq, Rodrigo Thomas, Srimantha Wijeyeratne & Saad bin Zafar
Hong Kong: Babar Hayat, Raag Kapur, Nizakat Khan, Ehsan Khan & Anshuman Rath
Kenya: Irfan Ali Karim & Gagandeep Singh
Nepal: Dipendra Singh Airee, Sompal Kami, Rohit Paudel & Sandeep Lamichhane
Oman: Sufyaan Mehmood
Scotland: Calum MacLeod, George Munsey & Safyaan Sharif
UAE: Rohan Mustafa, Mohammad Naveed & Zahoor Khan
USA: Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Ibrahim Khaleel, Ali Khan, Jaskaran Malhotra, Nisard Patel, Sagar Patel, Kyle Phillip, Shawm Qureshi, Roy Silva, Sunny Sohal & Hayden Walsh Jr.
(Players linked to 2018 CPL teams in italics)
The official announcement can be found here. Draft starts at 3pm GMT, 22 May. The CPL will run 21 August – 27 September.
Other T20 events around that period that could impact player availability are the new Euro T20 Slam (30 Aug -22 Sep) and the Vitality Blast (18 Jul – 21 Sep).