de Villiers highlight CPL draft
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, (CMC):
Exciting South African stroke-maker AB de Villiers was the prized capture of the Caribbean Premier League Draft here yesterday, as the six franchises underwent a virtual overhaul for the fourth edition of the Twenty20 tournament set to bowl off in June.
De Villiers, one of the most accomplished batsmen in international cricket, was taken by 2014 champions Barbados Tridents who also retained skipper Kieron Pollard, Pakistani batsman Shoaib Malik and West Indies pacer Ravi Rampaul.
However, the Bridgetown-based franchise will be without two of their key players from previous seasons as Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Rayad Emrit along with dashing Barbados and West Indies opener Dwayne Smith were snapped up by Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Aggressive 20-year-old Trinidadian left-hander Nicholas Pooran, who returned to cricket earlier this month after being sidelined for a year with injury stemming from a vehicular accident, will join the Tridents line-up.
The South African trio of Wayne Parnell, David Wiese and Robin Peterson were all also selected for the Tridents upcoming campaign.
Meanwhile, title-holders Trinbago Knight Riders - formerly Red Steel - grabbed a high profile South African of their own in Hashim Amla.
They also picked up the irrepressible New Zealander Brendon McCullum along with Pakistani Umar Akmal, the other overseas player in the squad.
Former West Indies stroke-maker Ramnaresh Sarwan, 35, who has not played a first class game in two years, was a surprise choice when he was picked up by Knight Riders in the 15th round.
Jamaica Tallawahs, champions in the inaugural year, retained Chris Gayle as expected and he was joined by Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara, Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and exciting Jamaica and West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell.
Tallawahs also moved for Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga as a sixth round pick and also landed Regional Super50 star off-spinner Jon-Russ Jagessar in the ninth round.
St Lucia Zouks, meanwhile, had South Africa big-hitter David Miller as their first pick and also went for Australian Shane Watson, while retaining all-rounder Darren Sammy.
The Castries-based outfit also chose Australian Mike Hussey in the fourth round and South African seamer Morne Morkel in the seventh round, to complete a strong group of overseas players in their squad.
Former West Indies speedster Fidel Edwards, Windies limited overs batsman Johnson Charles and off-spinner Shane Shillingford are all in the line-up.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots wasted little time in snapping up Lendl Simmons as their first round pick and also went for South African batsman Faf du Plessis, Australian Brad Hodge and Sri Lankan Thisara Perera.
Left-hander Jonathan Carter, who played for Tridents for the last three seasons, was selected by Patriots as a sixth round pick.
In addition to Emrit and Smith, Amazon Warriors picked up Australians Chris Lynn and Adam Zampa, along with Pakistani Sohail Tanvir and New Zealander Martin Guptill, to complete their list of overseas players.