Coming out of Monday’s 2020 Hero CPL Draft, Jamaica Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller believes the franchise has managed to assemble a balanced team that will be able to do some damage when the competition gets underway in Trinidad in August.

The two-time champions endured a disastrous season in 2019 when they won only two games and finished at the foot of the six-team standings. With the disaster behind them, the Tallawahs decided on a complete overhaul of the squad that included releasing veteran T20 batsman Christopher Gayle while retaining only five players from the previous campaign.

In Monday’s draft, the Tallawahs brought in 2016 T20 World Cup hero Carlos Brathwaite and the big-hitting Glen Phillips to complement Captain Rovman Powell, Andre Russell and Chadwick Walton. They have also added Nkrumah Bonner and Andre McCarthy.

Meanwhile, Fidel Edwards, Veerasammy Permaul, Sandeep Lamichhane and Preston McSween have bolstered the bowling.

“I am hoping that we have a better team. We were rebuilding and that was the whole idea,” Miller told Sportsmax.TV on Tuesday.

“After retaining the five we were looking to rebuild around them.”

Miller explained that they brought in Edwards, the former West Indies pace bowler, to partner young fast bowler Oshane Thomas and McSween to support them both. Right-arm leg-spin bowler Sandeep and Permaul, he said, add a cutting edge to a bowling attack that he expects to be effective on the pitches in Trinidad.

“We expect the pitches to be bowler-friendly,” Miller said, indicating that he believes the pitches in the twin-island republic to wear as the tournament progresses.

Miller is also hopeful that the Tallawahs’ batting will deliver this coming season. He is relying on the experienced Powell, Russell, Phillips and Walton to get the bulk of the runs but in Brathwaite and the returning Andre McCarthy, he is expecting additional stability and firepower.

Brathwaite, he believes, can “do damage” at the back end of the innings but further up the order is where he expects McCarthy to finally deliver on his potential. “I am hoping that McCarthy and Nkrumah Bonner can solidify the number-three slot. I am hoping that a maturing McCarthy can step up to the plate,” he said.

Without going into detail, Miller hinted that they might have missed out on some players they were hoping to sign but those players were drafted by other franchises before the Tallawahs had a shot at them.

 

With a focus on rebuilding for the 2020 CPL season, the beleaguered Jamaica Tallawahs franchise has opted to retain four players including star player Andre Russell for the new season.

 Emerging West Indies stars Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell and Oshane Thomas will be featured in a series of films developed in part by the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The Hero CPL has worked with Trombone Productions and Sunset+Vine to create films that tell the stories of these most exciting of Caribbean cricketers.

In each film, these talented young men travel back to their home towns to meet the people who helped them become the cricketers they are today.

“We also hear from some of the superstar cricketers who they have played with in their career, with the likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Shoaib Malik giving us their thoughts on these players,” CPL said. 

Oshane Thomas visits the site of his brother’s murder, talks about how this impacted on his life and how he overcame this to become an international cricketer.

Keemo Paul grew up in a tiny fishing village on the Essequibo River. His house had no running water and no electricity. It is more than 30 miles from the nearest road. This is where he first learned to play cricket, and the film takes viewers back to visit the community that made him the man he is today, and somewhere he still calls home.

Rovman Powell takes the cameras to meet his mother who raised him and his sister on her own, sometimes working three jobs to give him the start he needed to excel at cricket.

"When documenting sports people it is their on-field talent that is usually the focus, but behind every successful athlete is a story of where they came from, the people who made their careers possible and the defining moments in their lives that give them the drive and focus to become the best in the world at what they do,” said CPL’s Head of Production, Paul Pritchett-Brown.

“It was a privilege to be able to go to where these impressive young men came from and to tell their stories."

You can watch the first of these films featuring Oshane Thomas via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=915x1fBODE0.

All three films will be available on the Caribbean Premier League YouTube and Facebook pages. They will be premiered on the following dates: Keemo Paul – May 22, 2020, Rovman Powell – June 5, 2020

Windies T20 captain Kieron Pollard is very aware that while his side cruised to victory against Sri Lanka in the first game of a T20 series in Pallekele could have gone very differently had Andre Russell not bowled Kusal Perera in the 18th over.

The West Indies won the game by 25 runs after scoring an imposing 196-4 on the back of Lendl Simmons’ unbeaten 67 and 30s from Brandon King (33), Russell (35) and Pollard (34).

It almost wasn’t enough, as Kusal counter-attacked brilliantly, slamming 66 from 38 deliveries, despite Oshane Thomas’ soul-crushing 5-28.

Wanindu Hasaranga was also dangerous against the West Indies, scoring 44 from 34 deliveries, to keep the run chase alive after helping his recover from 56-5 in the sixth over.

While Pollard understands that Kusal was dangerous and could be so again, he was not yet willing to divulge what his bowlers needed to do hold on to a more powerful position.

“I'll tell you our plan to Kusal Perera after the next game, he's obviously their mainstay,” he said.

Rather, Pollard wanted to focus on the effort the team put into creating a fairly comfortable victory in the end.

Thomas came in for some praise, with Pollard speaking about the work he had put in recently after questions arose about his fitness.

“Total team effort, Oshane Thomas brilliant, he has been doing hard work back home and it's showing,” said Pollard.

Pollard also thought highly of Rovman Powell’s performance with the ball.

Powell removed Hasaranga in the 16th over, trapping him leg before and changing the course of the game, as well as Thisara Perera, who was also scoring quickly when he had him caught by Sheldon Cottrell.

“We had an unsung hero in Rovman Powell with the ball late in the innings,” said Pollard, recognizing that the efforts of Thomas and Simmons may have overshadowed the allrounder’s contribution.

Darren Bravo, Fabien Allen and Rovman Powell have been recalled to a 15-member West Indies squad that will play in the upcoming One-Day International (ODI) Series against Sri Lanka later this month.

Nkrumah Bonner scored a quick-fire century that helped set the foundation for the Jamaica Scorpion’s 26-run victory over the Barbados Pride in a high-scoring match at Conaree on Wednesday.

Jamaica Scorpions captain Rovman Powell reminded opponents in the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup that he can be a fearsome batsman who can take a game away when he slammed an unbeaten century to help his team to a four-wicket victory over Canada at Warner Park on Saturday.

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