The Trinbago Knight Riders made a bold statement in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) pre-draft today as they announced the signatures of wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran and allrounder Andre Russell, who represented the Guyana Amazon Warriors and Jamaica Tallawahs respectively last season.
The 2022 CPL season bowls off on 30 August and the final will be held in Guyana for the first time, after the mainland nation secured hosting rights for the next three years.
Pooran, who captained the Warriors to the CPL 2021 semifinals, and Russell join West Indies white ball captain Kieron Pollard and the Trinidad and Tobago pair of spinners Sunil Narine and Akeal Hosein plus West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales and batsman Tion Webster on the TKR roster.
It is the first time in CPL history that Pollard and Russell have played in the same team as TKR target an unprecedented fifth title. The Tallawahs and the Barbados Royals have lifted the trophy twice each while no other franchise has managed more than a solitary triumph.
Defending champions St Kitts and Nevis Patriots lost allrounder Fabian Allen and wicketkeeper/batsman Devon Thomas to the Tallawahs and Barbados Royals respectively.
However, the Patriots added batsmen Darren Bravo and Andre Fletcher to the outfit led by DMB’s older brother, Dwayne John Bravo, which successfully retained star opener Evin Lewis, talented middle-order batsman Sherfane Rutherford and left-arm pacers Dominic Drakes and Sheldon Cottrell.
Up until last year, both Bravos, DM and DJ, have been TKR mainstays while Fletcher last season several times replaced Faf Du Plessis as captain of the Saint Lucia Kings, who eventually took second place.
The Kings also lost pacer Obed McCoy to the Royals and allrounder Keemo Paul to the Warriors while they added opener Johnson Charles from the Royals and retained Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kesrick Williams, Mark Deyal and Jeavor Royal.
The Warriors retain star batsman Shimron Hetmyer, opener Chandrapaul Hemraj and explosive allrounders Odean Smith and Romario Shepherd and spinner Gudakesh Motie.
The pre-draft CPL core for the 2022 season is as follows:
Barbados Royals: Jason Holder, Obed McCoy, Kyle Mayers, Hayden Walsh Jr, Devon Thomas, Oshane Thomas, Nayeem Young.
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Shimron Hetmyer, Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Keemo Paul, Gudakesh Motie.
Jamaica Tallawahs: Rovman Powell, Fabian Allen, Brandon King, Kennar Lewis, Shamarh Brooks.
Saint Lucia Kings: Roston Chase, Johnson Charles, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph, Mark Deyal, Jeavor Royal.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots: Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Andre Fletcher, Sherfane Rutherford, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes.
Trinbago Knight Riders: Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Nicholas Pooran, Akeal Hosein, Jayden Seales, Tion Webster