The highly-anticipated CPL 2020 gets underway this week and although there will be no fans at the self-branded biggest party in sport, there’s sure to be fireworks out in the middle.
Trinidad is hosting this very different edition of the T20 tournament with a condensed schedule being played out at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba and the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
A variety of well-established overseas players are taking part but ahead of the opening fixtures, we’ve picked out an exciting West Indian player to look out for from each franchise.
Barbados Tridents – Kyle Mayers
Kyle Mayers doesn’t have the pedigree of those players but he does have bags of talent and this could be the year he makes his mark on the CPL.
The 27-year-old allrounder is an attacking left-handed batsman who is also a handy right-arm medium pace bowler.
A high score of 39* and best figures of 2/30 in this format show his numbers need work, but Mayers should be full of confidence following a break-out first-class season.
The Bajan finished the 2019/20 Regional Four-Day Competition as the second top run-scorer, cracking two centuries and five fifties at a remarkable strike-rate of 81.34.
Jamaica Tallawahs – Oshane Thomas
With Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite and Rovman Powell amongst their ranks, the Tallawah’s have plenty of batting firepower.
With the ball, though, Oshane Thomas could be their X-factor.
The 23-year-old has shown in his early forays into international cricket that he can be expensive when he doesn’t get it right.
Yet, the 6ft 6″ quick has the priceless ability to bowl upwards of 90mph and few opposition batsmen will relish facing him when he gets in the groove.
St Lucia Zouks – Chemar Holder
The experienced Daren Sammy is set to skipper the Zouks once more this year and he will need the likes of Andre Fletcher, Rahkeem Cornwall and Kesrick Williams to deliver big performances.
Young fast-bowler Chemar Holder will be hoping to make a sizeable impact of his own, though.
The Bajan spent June and July honing his red-ball skills as part of the Windies Test squad in England but after failing to make the XI on that tour, he’ll be itching to get a game.
U19 World Cup winner Holder has only played four T20 matches at this level but after taking more wickets than any other seamer during the first-class season, he’s ready.
Guyana Amazon Warriors – Sherfane Rutherford
The Warriors have a talent-laden squad, with Shimron Hetmyer captaining, the explosive Nicholas Pooran taking the gloves and last year’s top run-scorer, Brandon King, at the top of the order.
Sherfane Rutherford is less-established but is still an extremely exciting young player.
The 22-year-old hasn’t quite hit his stride yet in the international arena, scoring just 43 runs from four T20I innings.
However, he strikes at over 140 in this format and has formed part of franchise squads at the IPL, BPL and the Big Bash.
The diminutive but powerful left-hander can clear the ropes with ease and bowl useful right-arm medium pace, while he’s also dynamic in the field.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots – Joshua Da Silva
Rayad Emrit captains a Patriots squad that features experience in the form of Denesh Ramdin as well as more youthful West Indies stars Evin Lewis and Alzarri Joseph.
Joshua Da Silva hasn’t yet made his debut at that level but he’s shown real promise over the last year.
The 22-year-old played a key role with the bat and the gloves for the West Indies Emerging squad – which won the latest edition of the Super 50 competition – before breaking into the Trinidad and Tobago red-ball XI.
Averaging over 50 in the four-day competition secured him a spot in the extended squad for the Test tour to England and although he didn’t get a crack during the series, he scored 133* and 56* in the second warm-up fixture.
Da Silva has already excelled in two formats in the last 12 months and he could shine when handed his first taste of T20 cricket.
Trinbago Knight Riders – Anderson Phillip
As usual, the Trinbago squad is packed full of household names.
Kieron Pollard skippers the side and is able to call upon Dwanye and Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons and Sunil Narine.
Yet, he’ll also be hoping that Anderson Phillip is able to provide big moments with the ball.
Pace is Phillip’s key asset and aged 23, he looks to be hitting his stride at regional level.
The right-arm quick took a ten-wicket haul against the Winward Islands in his most recent first-class outing and with 12 T20 appearances to his name, he’s has more of a grounding in this format than others on this list.
After two months in the bio-secure bubble in England, he’s another player sure to be raring to go on home soil.