The Rayad Emrit-led St Kitts and Nevis Patriots entered the Caribbean Premier League in 2015 when they replaced Antigua Hawksbills. Having settled for the bottom place in their first two seasons, they bounced back to finish as runner-ups in the 2017 edition and have qualified for playoffs in the two subsequent editions of the league.
Going into their 6th season, the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots can look forward to lifting their maiden title if they perform to their potential.
Having retained 6 players, the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots signed the experienced Chris Lynn, Sohail Tanvir, Rassie van der Dussen, Ish Sodhi and Denesh Ramdin. However, van der Dussen will not be available due to traveling issues and New Zealand batsman Nick Kelly has been named as the replacement.
Young Joshua Da Silva, along with Australian Ben Dunk are among the major names who are drafted in.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots Squad:
Retained: Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Rayad Emrit, Alzarri Joseph, Dominic Drakes.
Signed: Chris Lynn (Overseas), Rassie van der Dussen (Overseas) (Unavailable), Sohail Tanvir (Overseas), Ish Sodhi (Overseas), Denesh Ramdin.
Drafted: Ben Dunk (Overseas), Dennis Bulli, Joshua Da Silva, Colin Archibald, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Sunny Sohal (ICC Americas pick).
Replacement: Nick Kelly (Overseas)
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots Strengths and Weaknesses:
Having one of the strongest fast bowling cores in the tournament, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots possess an enviable bunch of pacers. Cottrell, Joseph, Emrit and Tanvir are some of the proven stars, while the likes of Colin Archibald and Dominic Drakes are young and promising.
New recruit Sohail Tanvir is coming off a good PSL season and is in great form. Cottrell has established himself as the primary bowler in limited overs for West Indies and Joseph has the pace and bounce to trouble the batsmen on any wicket. Fast bowling has to be the biggest strength for the Patriots.
Batting holds a more than decent look. Evin Lewis, Chris Lynn and Joshua Da Silva form the top 3, followed by Ben Dunk, Denesh Ramdin and Fabian Allen in the middle order.
They can also slot in the replacement for van der Dussen, Nick Kelly, who has a terrific T20 record of late in place of Ramdin. Emrit at 7 can be handy with the bat. But the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots lack some depth in their batting, with very little experience apart from the first choice batsmen. Sunny Sohal does have some IPL experience but it has been long since he appeared in the India-based league.
Spin department has variety, but the quality is a bit below the standards of the remaining teams. Ish Sodhi has to be the spearhead of the attack, supported by Jon-Russ Jagessar and Dennis Bulli.
In case the Patriots decide to play kelly instead of Ramdin, they need to filed one out of Bulli and Jagessar in place of Sodhi.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots Probable First-Choice Playing XI:
Evin Lewis, Chris Lynn, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Ben Dunk, Denesh Ramdin/ Nick Kelly, Fabian Allen, Rayad Emrit, Sohail Tanvir, Ish Sodhi/ Dennis Bulli, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell