‘The Biggest Party in Sport’: Hero CPL players’ draft on today

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File: Guyanese cricket fans at a previous CPL match (CPL T20 photo/Facebook)

Just over three months remain before the commencement of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2019 Tournament.

The Hero CPL players’ draft will take place today at the Gfinity eSports Arena in London 2pm GMT (9am local time).

The state-of-the-art production facility will allow CPL fans from around the globe to follow the action, which will be hosted by a world-class panel of pundits.

Each of the teams will have the option to retain a maximum of six players. The players that they can potentially retain, although there is no obligation to retain any players from the 2018 squads are three West Indian players, one overseas player, the marquee player from 2018 and an ICC Americas player from 2018.

The marquee players may be signed before the draft and will sit in the second spot on the draft list. In the past, players who were selected in this spot included the likes of Chris Lynn, Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik, Evin Lewis, AB de Villiers, and Steve Smith.

Each team can draft a maximum of five overseas players, but only four of these players will be allowed in each starting XI. The ICC Americas player does not count in this overseas category.

Just under a week ago, a record number of 536 players from around the world signalled their intent to be a part of the tournament.

Players from a total of 20 countries, including the West Indies, are listed in the draft, as Pakistan, England, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Australia, Scotland, and USA cricketers have enrolled themselves for the seventh edition of the CPL draft.

Some of the star T20 cricketers are on the list, including the likes of Alex Hales, Rashid Khan, Shakib al Hasan, Jofra Archer and JP Duminy as well as Windies stars like Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shai Hope, and Shimron Hetmyer.

Hero CPL Tournament Operations Director Michael Hall said: “The fact that so many players have registered for our draft is a testament to the stature of our league. Playing cricket in the Caribbean is something that all players look forward to, and the CPL combines that allure with a high standard of cricket. We expect that this year’s tournament will be no different.”

Hero CPL will now take place from September 4 to October 12. The full schedule of matches will be released in due course with matches already confirmed for Barbados, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago.