The inaugural final of the Hero CPL Esports Series saw Colin Munro of the Trinbago Knight Riders take on Ish Sodhi of St Kitts & Nevis Patriots with the difficulty level of the game turned up to really challenge these players.

The Knight Riders won the toss and put the Patriots into bat and the first over of the final was full of drama with Khary Pierre picking up both Patriots’ openers with Evin Lewis and Chris Lynn dismissed going for big shots.

That left the Patriots 10-2 at the end of the first over, and that became 17-3 when Sodhi was caught in the ring off the bowling of Ali Khan.

Things didn’t improve when Nick Kelly was run out for a diamond duck to leave the Patriots innings in tatters at 18-4.

Sunil Narine kept the carnage coming when he bowled Ben Dunk for 6 and then did the same to Denesh Ramdin two balls later to leave the Patriots at 22-6.

Fawad Ahmad’s introduction into the attack only further cemented the Patriots’ woes as three more wickets fell, two of them soft run-outs as the batting team finished with 32 all out.

It was a small target but Munro was still feeling the pressure. The Patriots could have had Lendl Simmons dismissed in the first over but Chris Lynn put down a tough chance off Alzarri Joseph at mid-off.

At the other end, Narine found the boundary twice before Simmons was gone, dismissed by Imran Khan. By the end of the second over the Knight Riders were 18/1 with 16 needed from 18 balls.

Sodhi brought himself on to bowl and after a tricky start thanks to two wides, he came back well to get Narine bowled for 10.

That left the Knight Riders needing 11 from 12 and a powerful on-drive for four from Pollard seemed to swing things in his team's favour before he was yet another runout.

At the start of the last over five were needed and the Knight Riders seemed happy to get there in singles, but a wide and a no-ball from Sheldon Cottrell also helped.

It was Munro who hit the winning runs, cover driving for two to win the game by seven wickets with one ball to spare in a thrilling last-over finish to seal the first-ever CPL Esports title.

Dwayne Bravo has been traded by the Trinbago Knight Riders to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. The 37-year-old Trinidadian requested the trade that will see compatriot Denesh Ramdin move the other way prior to the start of the new season.

The upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) set to be held entirely on the island of St Kitts & Nevis and bowls off on August 28.

Due to the threat posed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the entire 2020 edition of the tournament was held in Trinidad and Tobago, under strict COVID-19 protocols.

In several respects, the tournament was a success with the event successfully being delivered to a record audience of over 500 million.  The Trinbago Knightriders were eventually crowned champions on their own patch.

St Kitts and Nevis’ Warner Park has been the scene of some of the most iconic matches in Hero CPL history.  Fans were treated to Chris Gayle’s brilliant hundred against the Jamaica Tallawahs in 2019 and Andre Russell’s even more explosive century against the Trinbago Knight Riders in 2016. There have also been some amazing matches, not least the game that went to a Super Over finish between St Kitts & Nevis Patriots and the Knight Riders in 2019.

This year’s tournament takes on extra significance with it taking place in the lead up to the ICC T20 World Cup and both West Indies and overseas players will be using the opportunity to push for selection for their international teams.

 “We are delighted to be able to announce that we will be having the Hero CPL in St Kitts & Nevis in 2021 and we would like to thank those involved in welcoming the tournament to this wonderful country,” Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s COO, said.

“As was demonstrated during the 2020 tournament the CPL is a massive boost for the host country with US$51.5million delivered in sponsorship value for Trinidad & Tobago. We are really looking forward to giving St Kitts & Nevis the exposure they deserve.”

 

The fourth match of the Hero CPL Esports series saw Nicholas Pooran of the Guyana Amazon Warriors take on Mitchell Santner of the Barbados Tridents at a virtual Kensington Oval. It was the Warriors who emerged victorious after a brutal display with the bat and superb bowling from their spinners.

The Tridents won the toss and elected to bowl first with Pooran promoting himself up the order to open. It was a move that worked out immediately with 30 runs coming off the first over, 24 of them made by Pooran.

The early loss of Brandon King did not slow the Warriors down with Shimron Hetmyer joining Pooran in smashed the Tridents bowling around the Oval, although a good few of the boundaries came via the edge of the bat.

Pooran brought up his fifty from just 10 balls on his way to 63 (13) to set up a total of 133/4 from their five overs. Although Pooran was the star, he was well supported, first by Hetmyer and then by Ross Taylor.

It was a daunting target, and the Tridents were under pressure to get off to a good start. They got just that thanks to Johnson Charles who made 29 (8) but his departure brought with it a collapse with three wickets falling with the score on 43. That became 53-5 with three wickets in an over from Imran Tahir.

The Tridents never recovered from that cluster of wickets and as they searched for boundaries to get themselves back into the game the wickets continued to fall, with three more going to the spin of Chandrapaul Hemraj. The Tridents went from 43-1 to 73 all out as the Warriors won by a massive 60 runs.

The second match of the inaugural CPL Esports Series saw Glenn Phillips of the Jamaica Tallawahs take on Andre Fletcher of the St Lucia Zouks at Sabina Park, and despite his claims to have never played Cricket19 before it was Phillips who emerged victorious in a stunning all-round display. 

Phillips was put in to bat by Fletcher and the New Zealander took control of a digital version of himself and he was out of the gate like a shot, making 30 runs off the first over on his way to a match-winning score.

Chadwick Walton fell early but the wicket of his opening partner did not slow Phillips down as he brought up a 10 ball fifty in the third over as he used his crease to make it difficult for the bowler to bowl to his plans. It was 105/1 at the end of the fourth over and a single from the first ball of the fifth got Phillips back on strike for the last five balls of the innings. 

Phillips continued to plunder runs from the last over, finishing on 80 (19) and leaving the Zouks a daunting 127 to win.

Fletcher got the Zouks chase underway with some fireworks as he took control of himself and smashed 26. He looked well set to match Phillips’ efforts, but a mistimed shot saw him caught at extra cover.

When Andre Russell had Rahkeem Cornwall caught and bowled in the next over it left the Zouks in trouble, and it got worse when Daren Sammy was out first ball.

Sandeep Lamichhane went even better than Russell when he picked up a hattrick, dismissing Mohammad Nabi, Roston Chase and Scott Kuggeleijn to leave the Zouks chase in tatters at 41/6.  

Some lusty blows from Chemar Holder brought some respectability to the Zouks total as he made 34 (7) but it was too little too late as the Tallawahs emerged winners by 28 runs.

 

The first match of the inaugural virtual CPL was a run filled spectacle as Trinbago Knight Riders’ Colin Munro emerged victorious against Ashmead Nedd after a Super Over finish.  

The Hero Caribbean Premier League will be launching an exciting new content series, the Hero CPL Esports League, featuring professional cricketers from around the world playing Cricket 19, the leading cricket console game.

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has delivered record value for the Caribbean during the 2020 season, with the tourist boards across the region receiving US$258million in media exposure.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell said he had changed his mind about travelling with the West Indies to New Zealand for their three-match T20 series but by the time he did, the team had already been selected and he was unable to join.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has admitted concern for the recent spate of injuries suffered by veteran T20 star Dwayne Bravo but insists the player remains in consideration for next year’s World Cup squad once fit and available.

The 37-year-old Bravo, who recently set the milestone of claiming 500 T20 wickets in this season’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), picked up a knee injury that delayed the start of his India Premier League (IPL) campaign.  Bravo started the IPL four games late but found himself sidelined a few games later, this time with a groin injury.

The injury led to Bravo being ruled out of the team’s tour to New Zealand.  The player’s previous CPL season had also been hampered after he suffered a broken finger.  While admitting it is a source of concern, Simmons has assured the player will remain in the minds of the selectors once he can recover sufficiently.

“It’s a concern because he was injured in CPL and now he’s injured in IPL,” Simmons told members of the media via a Zoom press conference call from the team’s training camp in New Zealand.

“There’s a break now, so he will go home and do what is necessary for him to be fit enough to play and there are a few series and also another IPL before the World Cup.  So, there’s a lot of chance for him to go and get himself fit and we will see what his fitness is like heading into the tournament.”

 

 

 

 

 

In a previous edition of this story comments attributed to former West Indies cricketer Roland Holder were, in fact ,made by former England batsman Roland Butcher. Sportsmax.TV unreservedly apologizes for the error and any inconvenience or unforeseen impact that may have resulted from it.

 

Former England batsman Roland Butcher does not believe West Indies Test cricket captain Jason Holder should be recalled to the T20 squad, despite several recent creditable performances in the format.

The all-rounder last represented the regional team in the shortest format of the game in India last year.  Since the resumption of cricket, however, the player has put in a few notable T20 performances.  In the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Holder was the Barbados Tridents' third-highest scorer with 192 runs in 10 matches and had a high score of 69.  He also made an impact with the ball after claiming 10 wickets, the second-most on the team.

Despite not being initially drafted to the Indian Premier League (IPL), Holder was called up to replace Mitchell Marsh by Sunrisers Hyderabad.  In three matches he has managed to claim six wickets so far.  Albeit being currently just outside of the playoff spots, the Sunrisers are still in contention with a handful of games to go.  The player has, however, not been included in the T20 squad to face New Zealand next month, which Butcher insists is the right call, at this point in time.

“I think Jason, based on his performance in the CPL, could have come in for some consideration, but again, I wouldn’t want to burden Jason, with all the different disciplines he has to play already,” Butcher told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“He’s doing well as Test captain.  He’s an integral part of the 50-over side as a player.  Why would you want to go and force T20 on him at this point in time? He’s one of our player’s that’s performing so why would we want to overload him so that he doesn’t perform.”

 

West Indies spinner Hayden Walsh Jr insists his confidence heading to New Zealand will not be diminished, despite enduring a relatively poor CPL campaign this season.

The 26-year-old burst on the scene during the 2019 CPL season, when he was the tournament’s most lethal bowler with best match figures of 5 for 19 and a total of 22 wickets.

Walsh struggled to replicate that form this season, managing just 7 wickets in 10 matches, at an economy rate of 7.65.  Notably, the bowler suffered a brutal onslaught from a rampaging Kieron Pollard, which saw him end with figures of 44 for 1 in that match.  Nonetheless, Walsh was selected as part of the T20 squad for the tour of New Zealand next month.

The bowler, however, remains confident of making an impact, perhaps as much as he did in India last year where he was decisive in the second game.

“I would agree that the results didn’t quite go my way, but I was still quite satisfied with the way I was consistent, but as I said, you can’t win all of them all of the time so it really was a good learning opportunity and a good learning tournament,” Walsh told the Antigua Observer.

“That one game or that one over doesn’t determine who I am as a leg-spinner on a whole.  I always try to get back to my feet because my father always taught me that cricket and life go hand in hand.  So, it is just like life, when you fall down today, we still have to get back up the next day and keep going again.”

 

West Indies legend Courtney Walsh has cautioned up and coming fast bowler Oshane Thomas that being in top physical shape is a key component to success on the international cricket stage.

Thomas burst on the scene during the 2017 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), where the fast bowler regularly clocked over 90 miles per hour.  That kind of promise quickly landed the 23-year-old straight into the senior Windies set-up, where he has so far played 20 ODIs and 12 Twenty20 Internationals.

Things have, however, not been going smoothly for the player since then with bouts of indifferent form leading to a less impressive showing in subsequent seasons of the CPL.  In 2018, Thomas finished with the second most wickets on 18, but the following season had just 9 and none in the 2020 edition, where he had limited playing time.  Some believe the 23-year-old’s dip in form has coincided with some amount of weight gain.  The player is indeed seemingly several pounds heavier than when he burst onto the scene three years ago.

“I think he has a lot of work to do.  He has to get himself back in shape,” Walsh told the Mason and Guest radio program.

 "He has the raw ability, talent, and pace but he has to reign himself back in and I had a very serious talk with him. If he wants his career to take off and be consistent, then he has to get himself back in shape, in fighting condition,” he added.

“That's one of the challenges that we had.  A lot of people probably don’t know that behind the scenes we had to do things to stay at the top of our game.  If it means running that extra lap, probably that extra bit of bowling in the nets or going to the gym.  Whatever it takes for you to be able to maintain that fighting weight and good body fitness for longevity.”

 

The Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) was broadcast around the world thanks to TV production company Sunset+Vine and SportsMax Productions who provided the state-of-the-art equipment that was used for the telecast. 

With months of planning and many late changes, adjustments and restrictions to both crew and equipment logistics due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Sunset + Vine and SportsMax teams executed and fulfilled their roles as broadcast, technical and production partners on the ground in Trinidad & Tobago. Over the four weeks of the tournament an uninterrupted high definition signal was sent to viewers around the world.

The Sunset + Vine team have a track record of amazing sports broadcasting and viewers around the globe were provided with the best possible experience. Despite the challenging nature of producing high class coverage during a pandemic, Sunset+Vine delivered a fantastic broadcast that was both innovative and engaging. 

With a camera count of 26, supporting audio and video equipment, more than 300 equipment cases and over nine tons of equipment shipped to the island during a global pandemic getting all of this in place was a massive endeavour. The equipment used during the broadcast, as well as the logistics of getting it in place in Trinidad, was provided by SportsMax productions. 

The broadcast also featured innovations to give the viewers the best possible experience, with this being even more important with the games played behind closed doors. SportsMax successfully integrated Zoom viewing parties in partnership with Digicel in an effort to add to the vibe and engagement of fans.

We would like to thank Sunset+Vine for their tireless endeavours which saw a world-class broadcast delivered around the globe in the most difficult of circumstances. We are also hugely grateful to SportsMax Productions who worked flat out to make sure all the equipment needed to put on a production of this standard was in place and working well,” said Pete Russell, Hero CPL’s CEO.

“The success of this year’s tournament would not have been possible without these two key partners.”

 

West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is expected to make his debut for Indian Premier League (IPL) team Chennai Super Kings by its fourth match, despite being declared fit enough to play.

The 36-year-old Bravo reported to the Super Kings IPL camp in Dubai with a knee injury, which he picked up during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) earlier this month.  The player has, however, since been cleared to return to the line-up but based on an agreement with the management team the West Indian will not be back in the lineup early.

So far, the Super Kings have already played three IPL games.  In Bravo’s absence, Englishman Sam Curran has been performing the overseas allrounder's job well, for the moment.

Bravo made history during last month’s CPL after becoming the first player in history to take 500 T20 wickets.  In addition, his Trinbago Knight Riders captured a fourth title on the back of an unbeaten season.  Bravo, who leads the CPL with most wickets taken, is currently 5th on the list of most career wickets in the IPL with 147.  The list is topped by Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga who has claimed 172.  The West Indian, however, tops the list for most wickets claimed in a tournament, with 32, a feat he accomplished during the 2013 edition.

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