The fifth instalment of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) launched in spectacular fashion in Barbados as the Player Draft concluded with some eye-catching movement across all six franchises.
The great Sir Garfield Sobers joined the assembled guests, dignitaries, sponsors and international media to help launch the biggest party in sport.
This year each squad’s Player budget is $750,000 (USD).
In addition to an unlimited group of retained players, once more there is a guaranteed roster spot for a Young West Indies emerging player as well as a representative from the ICC Americas, which ties in with one of the Hero CPL’s mandates of providing opportunities for young players across the Caribbean and north America.
Though each team was permitted to retain the core of their squad this year, it still allowed for some eye-catching transfers.
Amongst some of the notable acquisitions are that of Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting who has been recruited by St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, while West Indies ICC World T20 winner Marlon Samuels has joined the St. Lucia Stars. Samuels was not the only high profile Caribbean capture, with the Jamaica Tallawahs signing up batsman Lendl Simmons. Chadwick Walton has made the move, meanwhile, to Guyana Amazon Warriors and looks set to be a strong addition to their batting line-up.
For the first time ever, there will be an Afghanistan presence in the CPL, with Mohammad Nabi (St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots) and Rashid Khan (Guyana Amazon Warriors) being snapped up. Barbados Tridents have also supplemented their bowling attack with the signing of Pakistan’s Wahab Riaz.
In addition to the high-profile acquisition of New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson, coupled with the return of Dwayne Smith following his transfer from Guyana Amazon Warriors, the Tridents have retained Pakistan’s Shaoib Malik and South African all-rounder Wayne Parnell as they bid to win the coveted title they last won in 2014.