Lendl Simmons and David Miller were the big winners in the Caribbean Premier League 2016 draft on Thursday in Barbados, going first and second overall to fetch top tier $160,000 contracts. Simmons went to the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, having represented Guyana Amazon Warriors in 2015, while Miller was snapped up for the first time by a CPL team going to the St Lucia Zouks second overall.
Miller will team with Shane Watson to fill the void left by Kevin Pietersen, who opted to withdraw himself from the CPL for this season. Sohail Tanvir’s pick at fifth overall by Guyana essentially meant he and Simmons made a straight swap between teams. Chris Gayle (Jamaica Tallawahs), Dwayne Bravo (Trinbago Knight Riders) and Kieron Pollard (Barbados Tridents) were all retained by their franchises in the first round.
The six designated marquee overseas players were all taken in the second round beginning with AB de Villiers by the Tridents. He was followed by Martin Guptill, who will switch from the Patriots to the Amazon Warriors for 2016. Brendon McCullum went next to the Knight Riders, Kumar Sangakkara to the Tallawahs, Watson to St Lucia and Faf du Plessis rounded out the marquee picks going to the Patriots.
Hashim Amla was taken by the Knight Riders in round four, one pick ahead of Big Bash player of the tournament Chris Lynn by the Amazon Warriors who represented the Tallawahs in 2015. Adam Zampa, who had a breakout season in the BBL with Melbourne Stars to fetch both an Australian call-up and an IPL contract with Rising Pune Super Giants, was taken in the sixth round for $60,000 by the Amazon Warriors.
Besides Lynn, other players on the move were Samuel Badree and Brad Hodge, who were swapped up in consecutive rounds by the Patriots; Shakib Al Hasan, who went from the Zouks to the Tallawahs after being taken in the third round; David Wiese, from the Amazon Warriors to the Tridents; and Umar Akmal, from the Amazon Warriors to the Knight Riders; and Dwayne Smith from the Tridents to the Amazon Warriors.
Among the overseas CPL veterans in the auction pool who went undrafted were Shahid Afridi, Misbah-Ul-Haq, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Johan Botha. However, Michael Hussey managed to fetch a $90,000 price tag in the fourth round from St Lucia Zouks. He’ll be teammates with Morne Morkel, who was taken in the seventh round for $40,000.
One more player that caught most attendees off guard was Kieran Powell, who fetched a $10,000 price tag in round ten from the Patriots. Powell, 25, last played for West Indies in June 2014 and had declared his interest in January to pursue a career in baseball. He recently had a tryout attended by several scouts at the IMG Academy in Florida. However, he did not secure a contract with any Major League Baseball franchise.
Ramnaresh Sarwan was also a surprising name plucked in the final moments of the draft going with the first pick in the 15th round to the Knight Riders for $4000. Sarwan last played any form of competitive cricket with Leicestershire in 2014 and hasn’t played any regional cricket in the Caribbean since the 2014 Nagico Super50 with Guyana.
Six Associate players were taken in the final round of the draft, all of them representing USA and Canada. The Patriots retained Canada offspinner Nikhil Dutta, who debuted for them last year, and the same went for Florida batsman Steven Taylor with the Barbados Tridents. Canada batting allrounder Nikhil Dutta went with the second pick in the final round to the Zouks, followed by fast bowling allrounder Timroy Allen to the Tallawahs, wicketkeeper Hamza Tariq to the Knight Riders and fast bowler Ali Khan to the Amazon Warriors.
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots: Lendl Simmons, Faf du Plessis, Samuel Badree, Brad Hodge, Thisara Perera, Jonathan Carter, Krishmar Santokie, Evin Lewis, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kieran Powell, JJ Smuts, Devon Thomas, Shamarh Brooks, Tino Best, Jeremiah Louis, Nikhil Dutta
St Lucia Zouks: David Miller, Shane Watson, Darren Sammy, Michael Hussey, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Morne Morkel, Fidel Edwards, Derone Davis, Eddie Leie, Keron Cottoy, Shane Shillingford, Delorn Johnson, Kyle Mayers, Keddy Lesporis, Nitish Kumar
Jamaica Tallawahs: Chris Gayle, Kumar Sangakkara, Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Imad Wasim, Lasith Malinga, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Andre McCarthy, Jonathan Foo, Alex Ross, Kesrick Williams, Nkrumah Bonner, Garey Mathurin, Timroy Allen
Trinbago Knight Riders: Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine, Hashim Amla, Umar Akmal, Kevon Cooper, Sulieman Benn, Colin Munro, Anton Devcich, Ronsford Beaton, Nikita Miller, Javon Searles, William Perkins, Yannick Cariah, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Hamza Tariq
Guyana Amazon Warriors: Sohail Tanvir, Martin Guptill, Dwayne Smith, Chris Lynn, Rayad Emrit, Adam Zampa, Jason Mohammed, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Orlando Peters, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble, Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs, Steven Katwaroo, Ali Khan
Barbados Tridents: Kieron Pollard, AB de Villiers, Shoaib Malik, Nicolas Pooran, Ravi Rampaul, David Wiese, Robin Peterson, Raymon Reifer, Ashley Nurse, Wayne Parnell, Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Kyle Hope, Navin Stewart, Kyle Corbin, Steven Taylor