By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-The final roster for the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots for the yea’rs Caribbean Premier League (CPL) has been completed following the draft Friday morning in Barbados.
The Patriots picked up several new players including Australian all-rounder Ben Cutting and chose the First Afghan player in Mohammad Nabi.
However, the Patriots retained several players ahead of the draft at the various salary levels headlined by big hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle and were limited in their picks during the draft.
The players retained by the Patriots were Chris Gayle ($160,000), Chris Morris ($130,000), Evin Lewis ($70,000), Samuel Badree ($60,000) and Tabriaz Shamsi ($30,000) Jonathon Carter (40,000), Sheldon Cotrill ($7,000) and hometown favourite Kieran Powell ($7,000).
Players picked by the Patriots in Fridays Draft are Ben Cutting ($110,000) Nabi ($90, 000) Brandon King ($15,000), Fabian Allen ($5,000) and local favourite, Jeremiah Louis ($4,000)
Also set to feature for the Patriots are Alzarri Joseph (Young W.I.), Nikhil Dutta (ICC Americas), and West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite.
Representing the Patriots at the draft in Barbados was Patriots Chief Operations Manager Richard Berridge and player Kieran Powell and Jonathon Carter.
Speaking recently Patriot spinner Samuel Badree discussed the prospects this year playing with Mr. Gayle.
“Chris is a huge player in any team that he plays for and I think that with his addition to the St. Kitts and Nevis Franchise, we are hoping that we can make it to the semi-finals this year. It is really nice to be on the same team with Chris as opposed to having to bowl to him so I’m really looking forward to his inclusion in the team and we know what a really great player he is and the impact that he can have on a tournament,” he said.
The Trinidadian spinner added that Gayle brings a lot of experience to the line-up with him having won two CPL titles with the Jamaica Tallawahs
“Hopefully he can make it a third this time with the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots,” he said.
He also looked forward to working with new coach Phil Simmons.
“Phil has a wealth of experience he has been throughout the world I worked with him during the World T20s. he is a relaxed coach he gives you the opportunity to be yourself and level of freedom is really needed in T20 cricket,” he stated.
Mr. Badree also spoke to what Mr. Simmons brings to the table having worked with him in the West Indies t20 setup.
“He has good management skills and it is second to none in the world and I think his inclusion will bring a certain level of stability to the team,” he said.
Badree also set sights on the team moving from the foot of the table and making their first appearance in the semi-finals.
“The first step will be making it into the top four we haven’t done that as a franchise obviously if we get into the final that will be exceedingly well but realistically we want to get into the top four and just build from there,” he concluded.