West Indies pacer and Guyana Amazon Warriors captain Rayad Emrit is banking on the experience of Pakistan T20 veterans Shoaib Malik and Sohail Tanvir in the upcoming season of the Caribbean Premier League.
Emrit took over the captaincy from Martin Guptill in 2016 and last year the team finished third despite a poor start. Looking forward to the 2018 season which takes place from August 8 to September 16, Emrit said the additions made to their squad should help the team excel.
“We have always been there and thereabouts to win the trophy. It’s a bit different this year, we have Shoaib Malik who has the wealth of experience. With him coming into the team, especially with the batting, he knows how to win games and hopefully he can do that for us. We have a decent bowling attack, Rashid Khan isn’t there but Imran Tahir is there as well as Sohail Tanvir so I think we’re covered pretty ok.”
In the 2017 tournament, Emrit finishing third on the wicket-takers list with 15 scalps. Tanvir was the top wicket-taker with 17 and has been retained by the Guyanese team for 2018. Emrit says having Tanvir at the other end makes his job easier.
“Tanvir knows how to swing the new ball, a lot of guys don’t swing the new ball in the Caribbean. On his day, when he starts swinging it, he cause a lot of trouble for the opponents. He started to swing the ball later on in the tournament and that’s where we got our momentum. If he can do that from the start, definitely he’ll be a handful again.
“It’s easy when he does the job, it’s easier for the other guys at the end, even though it’s going to be a lot of pressure on us to maintain the pressure. He’s been brilliant and as I said, if he can do the job again for us it’ll make the other bowlers job a lot easier.”
Remember when Kevin O’Brien said he couldn’t wait to play in front of the passionate cricket fans in Nepal? The Ireland batsman had made the claim while congratulating Nepal for gaining ODI status after its six-wicket win over Papua New Guinea during the ICC World Cup Cup qualifiers held in Zimbabwe during March this year.
“Congrats or @NepalCricket for gaining #odi status! Looking forward to our first tour to experience crowds like this,” the 34-year-old had posted on Twitter at the time.
The Dublin-born man had reiterated his wish of playing cricket in Nepal when pictures of leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane being mobbed by the nation’s media upon his return from a maiden stint in the IPL were circulating on social media.
Upon seeing the picture of the waiting media at the Kathmandu airport, O’Brien had tweeted, “What a picture!!! He will be the star of the country! Can’t wait to get to Nepal and experience the passionate fans!”
It seems that the Irishman is about to get his wish after he was announced as the first overseas signing of the season by Nepal’s Everest Premier League outfit Kathmandu Kings XI.
“Kathmandu Kings XI are happy to announce the first centurion for Ireland @KevinOBrien113 as 1st international player for this year’s TVS EPL. Many thanks to agent @niallnobiobrien for arranging the contract,” the franchise wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
Kathmandu Kings XI are happy to announce the first centurion for Ireland @KevinOBrien113 as 1st international player for this year’s TVS EPL. Many thanks to agent @niallnobiobrien for arranging the contract pic.twitter.com/8j3pZ4WZyM— KathmandukingsXI (@kathmandukings) June 26, 2018
It seems that the Ireland star has his elder sibling and agent Niall O’Brien to thank for his dream of playing in Nepal near fruition.
The younger O’Brien sibling had announced himself to the cricket world after smashing the then fastest World Cup century in a clash against England in the 2011 edition held in India.
He then wrote himself into the record books once again this year as he became Ireland’s first Test centurion during their one-off maiden Test against Pakistan earlier. He will be in action on Wednesday when Ireland take on India in the first of the two T20s at Dublin.
The Everest Premier T20 League was launched in July, 2017 with six franchises participating. The 2017 edition of the tournament was won by Biratnagar Warriors. The second edition of the tournament is expected to get underway in November this year.
Sri Lanka require 63 runs more with five wickets in hand as they chase a victory target of 144 to not only register just their second Test win in the Caribbean, but also become the first Asian team to register a Test victory at the iconic Kensington Oval.
In 16 Tests at the venue against India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the hosts have registered 11 wins. Bangladesh haven’t played at the venue as yet.
The wicket is Barbados has historically been one of the quickest in the world even though over the past few it has mellowed down.
However, for the third Test of the series, the curators presented one of the liveliest surfaces seen in contemporary West Indies cricket. In all, 20 wickets fell on the third day of the match with Sri Lanka looking to win the Test and square the series.
If Sri Lanka do manage to do it, it will be a remarkable achievement as they are without regular captain Dinesh Chandimal, batsman Angelo Mathews and spin veteran Rangana Herath.