Today attention will be turned to Lauderhill, Florida for the second day of action in the fifth edition of the Hero’s Caribbean Premier League.
The expectation is already high among cricket lovers as the most consistent unit in the league Guyana Amazon Warriors is set to take on St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots after which two time champions Jamaica Tallawahs will come up against 2014 champions, Barbados Tridents.
In four previous outings, Guyana Amazon Warriors, three time finalist, have convincingly defeated the Patriots since the latter’s introduction to the League in 2015 at the expense of the Antigua Hawksbill.
However, with the Patriots’ inclusion of T20 superstar Chris Gayle, the Warriors unit is likely to face a sterner challenge in their opening clash.
Apart from Gayle, Patriots confidence has grown with the presence of exciting young players Evin Lewis, Pakistani fast bowler Hasan Ali and Carlos Braithwaite along with the experience of Mohammad Hafeez and Samuel Badree.
Despite the major loss of 2016 start Chris Lynn due to injury, Warriors still boast a formidable composition that could dominate the early stages of the tournament as they are known to do.
This time around their bowling department has been boosted with the inclusion of teenage leg spinning sensation Rashid Khan, who will join forces with one of the most economical bowlers in the league, off spinner Steven Jacobs, along with proven performers Veerasammy Permaul, Rayad Emrit and Sohail Tanveer.
Skipper Martin Guptil is expected to spearhead the batting, but there are opportunities for Steven Taylor, Chadwick Walton, Jason Mohammed and Babar Azam.
Meanwhile in the Tridents versus Tallawahs match, Lendl Simmons, Shakib Al Hassan, Kumar Sangakkara and Kesrick Williams are projected to be at the forefront of a possible win for the reigning champion that is a mixture of experience and young players, who are yet to dominate on the T20 arena but have shown potential.
The Tridents have always been among the fiercest of competitors in the League since its birth in 2013, but failed to make the final last year.
It is now redemption time for the Kieron Pollard led Tridents and in order to set the tone it would be ideal to open with a win.
Pollard will enter the field with Dwayne Smith, Wayne Parnell, Kane Williamson, Shoaib Malik and Ravi Rampaul all tried and tested players.
Exciting wicket keeper/ batsman Nicholas Pooran is also a part of the Tridents squad.
Both matches will be played at the same venue, with the first match scheduled to start at 11:00h and the second at 15:00h. ( Delvon McEwan)