Dubai: At 48 years, the rotund Pravin Tambe has the looks more befitting a coach, but the wily led spinner refuses to give up. An old hand in the Indian Premier League, Tambe is set to be the first Indian to play in the Caribbean Premier League, scheduled to be held between August 18 to September 10.
The fiesty Tambe has been signed by Trinbago Knight Riders, a franchise co-owned by Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, whose Kolkata Knight Riders are two-time champions in the IPL.
The wrist spinner, who played just two first-class matches for his home team Mumbai in 2013-14, was sold to KKR in the IPL auctions last December but he was disqualified by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for playing in an ‘unsanctioned’ cricket league.
The CPL draft was carried out remotely on Monday as teams filled out their rosters with both Caribbean and overseas players, including Rashid Khan from Afghanistan and New Zealand’s Ross Taylor.
Defending champions Barbados Tridents was on a signing spree, roping in Rashid Khan, powerful English opener Alex Hales and Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis. Their other overseas players are Englishman Harry Gurney and Afghani Rahmanullah Gurbaz. They have retained the core of their championship winning side from last year and they have signed Kyle Mayers to join a strong set of Caribbean players.
Apart from signing Tambe, the Knight Riders have also brought back Australian leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed who was part of their championship-winning team in 2018. They have also signed New Zealand wicketkeeper Tim Seifert and Zimbabwean batsman Sikandar Raza, apart from retaining the core group of local players for the 2020 season.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors have retained 13 players from the team that went unbeaten during the league stage of last year’s tournament and have added New Zealander Ross Taylor and Afghani Naveen-ul-Haq. Imran Tahir, Chris Green, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul and Sherfane Rutherford all return to the Amazon Warriors for 2020.
The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have signed Australians Chris Lynn and Ben Dunk and have also recruited Ish Sodhi and Sohail Tanvir. Rassie van der Dussen returns to the Patriots after a successful spell with the team in 2018 and they welcome back Fabian Allen, Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell and their captain Rayad Emrit.
Meanwhile, former champions Jamaica Tallawahs are looking to rebuild after a poor season in 2019 which saw them finish in last place in the table. They have recruited Carlos Brathwaite who was released by the Patriots. They have also signed Nepalese leg spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and South African left arm wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, apart from bringing in exciting Pakistan batsman Asif Ali and retained Glenn Phillips, their leading runscorer from last season.
Andre Russell, considered a super achiever in this format, provide the franchise with great balance alongwith Rovman Powell and Oshane Thomas.