THERE was some uncertainty looming before going to press last evening as to whether the opening match of the 2017 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) would actually start at the stipulated 9:00 p.m. yesterday.
Last evening’s encounter featured Trinbago Knight Riders and St. Lucia Stars.
This was because heavy rains on Thursday left a few wet patches on the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground. According to the local Met Office, the north of the island recorded 31.5 millimeters of rain in a 24-hour period beginning at 6:00 a.m. on Thursday.
Despite the few wet patches, the ground held up well and the sun came out in all its glory. There was also some mopping up by the ground staff to ensure that the hundreds of cricket fans expected to turn up to take in the action were not disappointed.
At a pre-match press launch held at Coco Palm Hotel on Thursday, Trinbago Knight Riders captain, Dwayne Bravo, hailed Saint Lucia for having the best cricket pitch in the region and answered questions posed by the media. He also had high hopes for his team.
“Much like in the Indian Premier League, Sunil Narine will open the batting for Trinbago Knight Riders. I believe that Sunil is key to our effort with the bat as well,” Bravo said.
Both captains spoke to their concerns about the weather. For Bravo, though, there is very little the team can do about the weather.
“St. Lucia always prepares the best pitches in the Caribbean. It would be good for us to win the toss and chase,” he said.
St. Lucia Stars captain, Daren Sammy, said the team will be assessing the weather conditions closely as well.
Fans coming to the DSCG are also expected to experience live musical performances from Teddyson John, Edwin Yearwood, Skinny Fabulous, Arthur Allain, Ricky T, Lil Rick and Fadda Fox.
The St. Lucia Stars squad reads: Daren Sammy (captain), Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Sunil Ambris, Jesse Ryder, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kamran Akmal, Keddy Lesporis, Eddie Leie, Obed McCoy, Kyle Mayers, Timil Patel, Shane Shillingford, Shane Watson, Marlon Samuels and Jerome Taylor.
The Trinbago Knight Riders are: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Hashim Amla, Kevon Cooper, Brad Hogg, Nikita Miller, Darren Bravo, Hamza Tariq, Brendon McCullum, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Anderson Phillip, Denesh Ramdin, Shadab Khan, Ronsford Beaton, William Perkins, Khary Pierre, Javon Searles and Mehedi Hasan.
Jamaica Tallawahs are the defending champions after they defeated Guyana Amazon Warriors by nine wickets in last year’s final to clinch their second title. Like previous seasons, this year’s edition will feature a number of world-class players.
Meanwhile, the St. Lucia Stars will return to the DSCG for their second encounter against Barbados Tridents on Thursday. The Tridents team is led by Kieron Pollard and the reminder of the squad reads: Kane Williamson, Shoaib Malik, Dwayne Smith, Nicholas Pooran, Wayne Parnell, Ravi Rampaul, Wahab Riaz, Raymon Reifer, Christopher Barnwell, Imran Khan, Damion Jacobs, Akeal Hosein, Ryan Wiggins and Tino Best.