DEFENDING Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 champions Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) plan to retain their core players on the team for the 2018 tournament, but changes will be made.
The 2018 CPL draft will be held in London, England, on Thursday, with the Knight Riders and the five other franchises hoping to get the top available players. The sixth edition of the tournament will be held this year from August 8 to September 16.
TKR manager Colin Borde is anticipating another draft, as a number of international players have stated their interest to play. A total of 227 overseas players from 18 countries have registered for the draft, an increase from 151 from last year.
The draft will include prominent international players such as Brendon McCullum, Chris Lynn, Mohammad Amir, Hashim Amla and Shahid Afridi.
Borde said, “Of course we are looking forward to the draft again. As you know every year it brings new possibilities of new players. It is being held in London, so we expect again this year it will be a bumper year. Having already looked at the number of foreign players that are interested in playing here, really augurs well for the CPL.”
TKR won the title last year in front a capacity crowd at the Brian Lara Academy in Tarouba, and Borde is hoping the finals will be held in Trinidad again.
Borde said, “Being the defending champions, it is going to be exciting again and we are hoping the finals again will be in Trinidad. We are all set to go and we are all ready. We have done our homework, we are pretty sure who we will like to retain and who, in an ideal world, we would like to also bring on board with the TKR family.”
A number of TKR players have been with the team for years such as captain Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Kevon Cooper and Javon Searles. Borde said the core of the team will remain the same, but fans of the team can expect changes.
“The names would be announced in due course, but what we try to do is have a balance and a team that is consistent. There are changes that are going to be made, of course the names can’t be revealed, but we are certain that the core players will be retained.
“Generally speaking we are happy with what we have. Certainly we are going to make changes like every other team. There are areas you want to strengthen and we expect that we are going to be there again to defend the title.”
All the regional players will be available for the entire tournament, as the West Indies will not play any cricket during the 2018 CPL.
Borde is glad that all the West Indies players would be available. “That is very important for the tournament, I think it is an excellent move. It is always about the spectators and the spectators care to see all of its West Indian players on show at the CPL.”