IPL in UAE: Shah Rukh Khan’s CPL players look primed for IPL success

Dubai: The Indian Premier League focus turned to those players who were recently involved in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) that ended in the West Indies late on Thursday.

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The Trinbago Knight Riders dumped St Lucia Zouks by eight wickets to help themselves to a record fourth title in the eight years of the franchise driven cricket competition.

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And now, with at least 16 CPL players headed to the UAE to partake in the 13th edition of the IPL, much will be expected when the first match is played in Abu Dhabi, on September 19.

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Trinbago Knight Riders’ owner Shah Rukh Khan was celebrating the win, and he will now be hoping his players go on to more success at the IPL.

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Defending champions Mumbai Indians will be looking forward to Trinbago’s Kieron Pollard carrying forward his form from the CPL into next week’s IPL. Skipper Pollard led from the front while capturing four wickets for 30 runs in his four overs.

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Yet another franchise hoping for the best will be last year’s runners-up and former champions Chennai Super Kings as they would expect TKR all-rounder Dwayne Bravo to shoulder some additional load of responsibility especially in the absence of Suresh Raina.

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The four-time CPL champions Trinbago also had Sunil Narine, who has time and again displayed his utility with the bat while taking on the bowling honours with his Kolkata Knight Riders. Incidentally, KKR are also co-owned by Shah Rukh Khan. Narine was left watching from the bench in Thursday’s final of the 2020 CPL after being ruled out with an injury.

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There were at least six players from Afghanistan who were part of the CPL 2020. They were initially scheduled to fly back home from the West Indies on a special charter flight, but the Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) showed a last-minute change of heart and allowed them to stay back till the CPL 2020 final concluded.

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Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan will be joined by Kings XI Punjab’s teenager Mujeeb Ur Rahman as the trio arrive to join their squads. Incidentally, Mujeeb was joint highest wicket-taker alongside South Africa’s Imran Tahir with 15 scalps each to their names in the CPL. Tahir is one of the key bowlers for MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.

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The three Afghan players in the IPL will now have to follow a self-quarantine period of six days, after which they will be allowed to join their respective squads. The three other players — Zahir Khan, Najibullah Zadran and Naveen-ul-Haq — will proceed to Afghanistan and join their franchises for the domestic Shapageeza League that is scheduled to start on Sunday.

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The attention will now be on players such as Pollard, Imran Tahir, Rashid Khan and Mujeeb among others as they already have their T20 eye in, while many others haven’t played any cricket in a long time.

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INWARD BOUND

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Players heading to the UAE from CPL for IPL 13
CSK: Dwayne Bravo (Trinbago Knight Riders); Imran Tahir (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
DC: Keemo Paul (Guyana Amazon Warriors); Sandeep Lamichhane (St Kitts & Nevis Patriots); Shimron Hetmyer (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
MI: Kieron Pollard (Trinbago Knight Riders); Sherfane Rutherford (Guyana Amazon Warriors)
KXIP: Nicholas Pooran (Guyana Amazon Warriors); Chris Gayle (St Kitts & Nevis Patriots); Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Jamaica Tallawahs); Sheldon Cottrell (St Kitts & Nevis Patriots)
KKR: Sunil Narine (Trinbago Knight Riders); Andre Russell (Jamaica Tallawahs)
SRH: Rashid Khan (Barbados Tridents); Mohammad Nabi (St Lucia Zouks)
RR: Oshane Thomas (Jamaica Tallawahs)

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