The twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is already in the news much before the start of the season. The preparations for the next edition are already in full swing with teams figuring out their best possible squads before going into the auctions.
All the franchise saw their first move before IPL 2019 by releasing some of the players and retaining a defined core for the next season. It will now be a matter of filling the gaps and acquiring enough backups for each spot when they sit for the auctions in Jaipur next month.
With the venue for the league still in question due to the General Elections next year, teams have played safe by releasing more players while planning to go full throttle in the auctions.
The recent year saw some T-20 stars emerge on the scene. West Indies continues to produce some of the finest players of this format, who will be on some of the team's bucket list.
Here's a look at three Caribbean players who might fetch a hefty pay ahead of IPL 2019:
#3 Oshane Thomas
One of West Indies' promising fast bowlers in recent times, Oshane Thomas has impressed one and all with his raw pace on the ball. His recent tour to India for ODIs and T20Is was not quite successful in regards to the team's performance but gave everyone a sneak peek of his abilities with the ball.
It was pleasing to see a youngster keeping alive the culture of pace bowling in the Caribbean nations. Many experts consider him as someone who can inflict huge amounts of damage in the opposition camps. Bowlers of his caliber are perfect for the kind of game required in a T-20 match. He would definitely interest some of the franchise in the IPL to add firepower in their fast bowling armory.
#2 Nicolas Pooran
A swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman for West Indies in T20Is, Pooran rose to fame with his 24-ball 54 against Guyana Amazon Warriors playing for Trinidad and Tobago Steel in the inaugural edition of Caribbean Premier League. His exploits at the league helped him earn a name as a capable destructive batsman.
Pooran gives a flexibility of batting at almost all positions in the batting order. His ability to strike sixes at will brings the Caribbean flavor to his style of batting.
As a result, he was picked by Mumbai Indians in 2017 for his wicket-keeping abilities to aid his batting prowess. However, the Southpaw failed to make it to the XI in any of the games. The IPL auctions of 2019 bring in a lot of promise for him, especially after his whirlwind knock of 25-ball 53 against India in the 3rd T20I at Chennai. He might attract huge bids with teams considering his dual role in the playing XI.
#1 Shimron Hetmyer
The Caribbean hard-hitting batsman comes along with a reputation of clobbering attacks at will. He is someone who is equipped with great ability to smash the ball and change the game on its head. Hetmyer did enough justice to his ability with his few match-winning innings against India in the recently concluded ODI series.
He defined a fearless approach to take on the bowlers after settling in with ease. It was remarkable to see a Caribbean player getting his eye in before bringing in the power game to tear apart bowling attacks.
He has done enough to induce interest in his skills with the bat. Though he failed miserably with his chances in the T20I series, he brought his 'A' game to the fore in the ODI series against India. He would definitely be in the franchises' scheme of things ahead of the IPL auctions. It won't be a surprise if teams go in for a bidding war for the southpaw to be included in their squad.