The eighth edition of the Caribbean Premier League will be the first competitive T20 league to begin since the coronavirus pandemic caused sporting events across the world to come to a halt.
The edition will see some of the biggest names from the world of cricket take the field, with a few youngsters itching to leave their mark as well.
West Indies has always thrown up a number of young and promising T20 talents over the last few years.
This year too, the six franchises have untapped talent along with a few exciting youngsters who will be hungry to leave their mark with both bat and all.
We look at four such West Indian players who can make a huge difference in CPL 2020.
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Shimron Hetmyer (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
The 23-year old might be in his early twenties, but has already played 45 ODIs, 16 Tests and 25 T20 Internationals for West Indies. He displayed what he was capable of in last year’s Indian Premier League where he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Despite limited chances, Hetmyer returned with impressive knocks under pressure and emerged as a star to watch out for. He was not at his best in the 2019 CPL, where he smashed 224 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of just 123.76, but has been in fine form since then in international cricket.
Hetmyer was lethal against India in the three T20Is that was held in the subcontinent last year, scoring 56 off 41, 23 off 14 and 41 off just 24 deliveries in the three games, which should give evidence of his skills. Hetmyer is the future of West Indies cricket along with Nicholas Pooran, and he will be eager to set the stage on fire.
Chemar Holder (St Lucia Zouks)
Just like his namesake Jason Holder, Chemar is also a talented fast bowler who has proved his mettle in First-Class and List A games. The tall 22-year old came into the limelight in the finals of the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 where his side defeated India to win the trophy. Since then, he was earmarked as a player to watch out for, and he immediately impressed when he made his West Indies A debut for England in 2018. The following year, he picked up 15 wickets in the three unofficial Tests against India A, and continued his form in the West Indies Championship of 2019-20, ending with 36 wickets at 18.91in Barbados’ title-winning run.
Even though the tracks in CPL 2020 are likely to be in favour of the spinners, Holder is skilled enough to adapt, which makes him a real threat.
Sheldon Cottrell (St Kitts & Nevis Patriots)
The ex-army man has peaked late in his career but has made an impressive mark. Muscular and strong, Cottrell’s pace and his left-arm angle provides variety to any bowling attack that he turns out for. His aggression and his hostility ensured he was noticed in the 2013 edition of the CPL, where, in a league game against Barbados Tridents, he ended with figures of 4 for 20. However, injuries and inconsistency hampered his progress thereafter, and it was not till CPL 2017 that he started returning with impressive performances. He has picked up 34 wickets in the last three years, and was the standout bowler for his team in the 2019 World Cup last year as well.
Overall, Cottrell has played 88 T20s and has phenomenal numbers for a fast bowler – 123 wickets at an average of 19.15 and an economy rate of just 7.42, and he will be hoping to light up the edition with his salute celebration.
Tion Webster (Trinbago Knight Riders)
In a team that has players like Keiron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine and Lendl Simmons, Tion Webster stands out as the potential dark-horse who could have a huge impact in this year’s tournament. In CPL 2019, Webster had grabbed eyeballs after his fluent knock of 66 in 49 balls against Jamaica Tallawahs, and he will be looking to unleash his power this time around as well.
The 25-year old has just played seven T20 games in his career but has been considerably successful in FC and List A cricket. In 15 FC games, he has scored two tons, including a knock of 178, while he has three fifties in List A cricket, whilst striking at 93.30. Webster can also pitch in with the ball when needed, which makes him a player to watch out for.