New Delhi, Aug 12: Exciting and electric Twenty20 action is back as the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) - the first major T20 league to begin during these uncertain times - is all set to get underway from August 18 on the Star Sports Network at 7 PM.
The 33-match tournament will be played in Trinidad & Tobago will all the matches being held across two stadiums. With the tournament just over the horizon, former cricketers and experts are making their predictions about who are going to be the players to watch out for in the tournament.
At Star Sports show Cricket Connected, a panel of experts comprising former Australia pacer Brett Lee and former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar were made to pick the most impactful overseas player during the CPL.
The duo was given the names of Rashid Khan, Imran Tahir and Chris Lynn to choose from and they explained which international player according to them can use the CPL to shake off the dust and get into shape for the IPL 2020 in the UAE.
Rashid Khan (Barbados Tridents)
Rashid Khan's story in international cricket is nothing short of a fairy tale. One of the most prolific leg-spinners in the world, the 21-year-old was snapped by defending champions Barbados Tridents for the eighth edition and will be among the star attractions in the league.
Rashid, who made his international debut in 2015, has been an integral part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad.
Returning to competitive action due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lethal Afghan leggie, who also has the knack of stemming the run flow at any given point of time, can use his time in the Caribbean to get back his rhythm and pocket a few wickets under his belt which will be vital to raise his confidence when he boards the flight to UAE.
Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
Veteran leg-spinner Imran Tahir was among 11 players retained by last season's finalists Guyana Amazon Warriors. The 41-year-old seasoned campaigner of 290 T20s has 365 wickets in the format with a best of 5/23 at an incredible average of 19.85.
Although he does go in excess of seven runs per over, he more than makes up for that with his strike rate of 16.9. Tahir, the only South African to play in the CPL this year, will be itching to light up the tournament with his celebratory run this season. For starters, this could be the warm-up to what awaits him in the UAE with Chennai Super Kings.
Chris Lynn (St Kitts & Nevis Patriots)
Swashbuckling Australian batsman Chris Lynn has been a lethal exponent in T20 leagues across the world. The 30-year-old, who will ply his trade for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, is expected to unleash a flurry of wild shots in the tournament, a nightmare for any bowling attack.
After being released by Kolkata Knight Riders, Lynn was picked up by defending champions Mumbai Indians for his base price of Rs 2 crore.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, Lee said: "I could pick all three, but I'm going to go with Rashid Khan. He's got all the tricks in his bag, a beautiful wrong un, great temperament and I think these wickets will definitely suit him, playing in the UAE. He knows that country back to front, he has played a lot of cricket there. I think he will really do well over there. He's a wonderful guy as well, so Rashid Khan's my pick."
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, former Team India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar prefers Chris Lynn, "But I like Chris Lynn, you know. There's a kind of a sledgehammer kind of power that he has in his batting. This time round, actually, CSK may not play Imran Tahir as much because you know, you can only play so many foreigners. Now, they have got Piyush Chawla. Imran Tahir might just sit out. So, my pick will be Chris Lynn."