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The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) is less than three months away, and last year’s T&T Red Steel manager Colin Borde is happy with the new additions to the line-up and hopes the team can improve on last year’s performance.
In the 2013 inaugural tournament, the Red Steel were defeated by the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the semifinals at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain. The Jamaica Tallawahs, led by Chris Gayle, eventually won the tournament.
Five new players have joined the 15-man Red Steel squad, led by captain Dwayne Bravo. T&T’s Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed and Shannon Gabriel (, and Nasir Jamshed (Pakistan) and Kenar Lewis (Jamaica) have been added to the line-up. Unfortunately, T&T’s Adrian Barath, Justin Guillen and Yannick Cariah, and Miguel Cummins (Barbados) and Davy Jacobs (South Africa) were omitted.
In a telephone interview with the T&T Guardian yesterday, Borde was satisfied with the team.
He said: “I think it’s good to have as many local players as possible because it is a T&T franchise, Lewis has proved himself at the Champions League, Gabriel has the experience and Mohammed has been around for some time.”
Borde said it is good to have international flavour at the tournament. Other than Jamshed, Ross Taylor of New Zealand and Kevin O’Brien of Ireland will also be in the Red Steel setup. Taylor and O’Brien were both part of the team last year.
Some of the notable names who will feature in this year’s tournament are Kevin Pietersen (England/St Lucia Zouks), Corey Anderson (New Zealand/Guyana Amazon Warriors), David Hussey (Australia/Antigua Hawksbills) and Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka/Antigua Hawksbills).
Borde believes all the teams have an equal chance to win the tournament.
“All the teams are evenly balanced, which would make it a better tournament.”
In an effort to broaden the game of cricket, the CPL plans to stage the first round of matches in Toronto, Canada, an idea supported by Borde.
“The CPL wants to spread the game and we want to get into the North American market.”
Borde also said it is an exciting time in world sport, as the World T20 cricket tournament (recently concluded), the Indian Premier League (April 16-June 1), the FIFA World Cup (June 12-July 13) and the CPL (July 5-August 10) will be played right after each other.
Meanwhile, the respective players have been retained by their franchises. Samuel Badree (T&T), Denesh Ramdin, Krishmar Santokie and Lendl Simmons (Guyana), Dwayne Smith (Barbados), Andre Russell.
T&T RED STEEL SQUAD:
Dwayne Bravo (captain/T&T), Ross Taylor (New Zealand), Darren Bravo (T&T), Samuel Badree (T&T), Sulieman Benn (Barbados), Kevon Cooper (T&T), Nasir Jamshed (Pakistan), Kevin O’Brien (Ireland), Evin Lewis (T&T), Nicolas Pooran (T&T), Shannon Gabriel (T&T), Fidel Edwards (Barbados), Jason Mohammed (T&T), Kenar Lewis (Jamaica), Delorn Johnson (Windward Islands)
Teams: West Indies
Domestic and international icon players
Antigua Hawksbills - Marlon Samuels, Saeed Ajmal
Barbados Tridents - Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik
Guyana Amazon Warriors - Sunil Narine, Corey Anderson
Jamaica Tallawahs - Chris Gayle, Muttiah Muralitharan
St Lucia Zouks - Darren Sammy, Brad Hodge
T&T Red Steel - Dwayne Bravo, Ross Taylor