The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League organizers have named their team of the tournament and there are no surprises, although some choices are left open to debate.
Ronald Ebanks viewed the selection with interest. Ebanks plays for Cayman’s national team as a batting all-rounder and plays at club level for Prison and Schools.
The 30-year-old chemistry lecturer at UCCI was captivated by the Caribbean Premier League and generally agrees with the selectors, who picked:
- Andre Fletcher (St. Lucia Zouks)
- Chris Gayle (Jamaica Tallawahs, captain)
- Lendl Simmons (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
- Shoaib Malik (Barbados Tridents)
- James Franklin (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
- Andre Russell (Jamaica Tallawahs)
- Marlon Samuels (Antigua Hawksbills)
- Shakib Al Hasan (Barbados Tridents)
- Rayad Emrit (Barbados Tridents)
- Krishmar Santokie (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
- Muttiah Muralitharan (Jamaica Tallawahs)
- Ashley Nurse (Barbados Tridents)
The side, which includes six players from the finalists, the Jamaica Tallawahs and the Guyana Amazon Warriors, was chosen on the basis of it being balanced and capable of playing a match.
The selection panel was made up of Mike Procter, the former South Africa all-rounder and a match referee in the tournament, ex-West Indies and Jamaica wicketkeeper-batsman Jeffrey Dujon and Mike Haysman, the former South Australia batsman and part of the television commentary team with Dujon.
Journalist Craig Cozier and umpires Billy Bowden, Nigel Duguid, Joel Wilson and Danesh Ramdhanie – all officials at the Limacol Caribbean Premier League – were the other selectors.
The Jamaica Tallawahs beat the Guyana Amazon Warriors by seven wickets in the final, played at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad two weeks ago. Gayle was Man of the Match.
“Andre Fletcher is a solid batsman but his style is classic and not really suited to T20 cricket,” Ebanks said. “Fletcher is not that much of a big hitter. You could argue that Lendl Simmons should have been picked to open with Gayle.
“Gayle didn’t show his normal form early on but he can win a match with a hundred by himself even in 20 overs.
“Simmons should definitely have been the opener with Gayle. He batted there throughout the tournament and did well. I don’t know why he was dropped to No. 3. He turned out to be real world class.
“Malik proved he is high quality who can play in any position.”
Ebanks was surprised that Franklin was chosen at No. 5 and would have preferred someone else – but he is not sure who and felt Russell was a good choice at No. 6. He thinks Samuels needed to be picked higher up the order because he tends to need a while to settle in.
“Al Hasan is a great selection,” Ebanks said. “He is a solid bowler and sufficient enough bat to be in the team. In one match he got 6 wickets for 6 runs in his 4 overs. That alone should have earned him his selection.”
“Emrit is an up-and-coming fast bowler but I didn’t see much of him in the tournament.
“Santokie proved he is a great T20 left arm bowler, whether in-swing or out-swing or yorkers. But he has to work on his pressure situations because in his last two matches he conceded a lot of runs. Maybe he should not bowl late in the match in the future.”
Ebanks was not surprised that Muralitharan was selected for his spinning mastery although he was not as deadly as usual.
“Murali is a legend,” he said. “He was only average in this tournament but no spinner really stood out, so I think he may have only been selected on his name.”