The infuriatingly long wait for cricket fans ended when West Indies, despite all odds stacked against them, decided to tour England for a three-match Test series, making the resumption of cricket in a post-pandemic world a reality.
Now, the island nation is all set to host the first T20 league since the long hiatus due to the coronavirus outbreak. Trinidad & Tobago government duly approved the proposal to host the 2020 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The much-awaited T20 extravaganza will be played from August 18 to September 10, where the six franchises fight for a prestigious trophy. All 33 games will be played at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba and Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
In the tournament-opener, last year’s runner-up Guyana Amazon Warriors will lock horns with Trinbago Knight Riders.
Over the years, CPL has emerged into one of the most reputed T20 leagues where thrilling encounters and awe-inspiring performances take place at alarming regularity.
Like any other franchise-based league, CPL is also dominated by big, powerful-hitters who are capable of ripping apart even the most disciplined bowline line-up.
But, there have been few bowlers who kept up with the times. They improvised, honed and adapted to conditions accordingly to meet the latest demands of the game. These bowlers brought numerous new weapons in their armoury to trouble batsmen and make their life harder in many ways.
The Caribbean league has groomed some of the most versatile bowling talents like Sheldon Cottrell and Sunil Narine, who has taken the world by the storm.
In the build-up to the league, let’s have a look at the top-five bowlers with the most wickets in CPL.
5.Sheldon Cottrell (69 wickets)
With 69 wickets in 50 matches, at an impressive average of just over 19, Sheldon Cottrel ranks fifth in the list. Standing at 6’3”, Cottrell is a muscular, left-handed bowler who can bowl really fast.
The 31-years-old leads the pace attack for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in CPL. He is also a gun fielder who occasionally pulls out stunning catches in the field.
4.Sunil Narine (72 wickets)
Sunil Narine, a mystery spinner who seems to be tailor-made for the shortest format of the game, his ability to deceive batsmen is unmatched. Narine has scalped 72 wickets in 71 matches. Further, his economy rate of a miserly 5.52 makes him the most economical bowler of the league.
The 32-year-old plays for Tribago Knight Riders and has won two consecutive championship titles in 2016 and 2017 with the franchise.
Although Narine couldn’t leave his impression while playing for his national side, he still remains a force to be reckoned within franchise-level T20 cricket.
3.Rayad Emrit (85 wickets)
Rayad Emrit is a skilled all-rounder who played a crucial role in Barbados Tridents’ maiden championship victory in 2014. Emrit, with 85 wickets in 75 matches, is the third-highest wicket-taker of the tournament.
The 39-year-old will be captaining St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the upcoming edition after the franchise released their former captain Carlos Brathwaite last year.
2.Krishmar Santokie (85 wickets)
Krishmar Santokie is one of the most successful fast-bowlers in the history of CPL. With 85 wickets at an astounding average of under twenty, Santokie ranks second in the list of leading wicket-takers.
Santokie played for Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, and St Lucia Zouks in his CPL career but couldn’t find any takers for the second season in the row.
The 35-years-old plies his trade for Sylhet Thunder in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and has also played a couple of matches for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
1.Dwayne Bravo (97 wickets)
Dwayne Bravo, unsurprisingly, tops the list by a fair margin with 97 wickets in 69 matches at 21.52. The all-rounder has won the title three times with his native Trinidad-based franchise. He has multiple four-wickets hauls and one five-for to his name.
Bravo missed the 2019 edition of the tournament and will be making a comeback this season. He, however, resigned from his captaincy and will be playing under the leadership of Kieron Pollard.