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Trinbago Knight Riders name CPL 2021 retainees

Aarti Sharma | May 19, 2021 09:13 PM

The Trinbago Knight Riders have revealed the players retained for the 2021 edition of the Caribbean Premier League. 

A strong list includes all-rounder Kieron Pollard, spinner Sunil Narine, batsman Darren Bravo and fast bowler Ali Khan. 

Pollard and Narine have recent experience in the Indian Premier League with the Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders. 

Trinbago will be without veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, though. He has chosen to join St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. 

"At this stage of my career I needed a new challenge, which is to work with the young talent for the benefit of Cricket West Indies. Also becoming part of a new franchise SNKP will provide me with a new challenge in CPL, " said Bravo. 

I want to thank TKR for respecting my wishes and for all their support over the years. I also appreciate everything they've done for Trinidad and Tobago in general." 

Trinbago team director Venky Mysore added: "Bravo has been instrumental in not only building TKR into a champion team but also captained the team which earned three championships in 2015, 2017 and 2018. We are sad to see him leave but we respect his wishes." 

The Knight Riders are the reigning champions. They beat the St Lucia Zouks in the 2020 final. 

As the most successful franchise in the history of the CPL, Trinbago are among the favourites and they are priced at 3.75 for a fifth title with bookies like bet365 cricket betting. All-rounder Daren Sammy's decision to step down as St Lucia captain has influenced the odds. They are offered at 9.0 for a maiden title with the same bookmaker. 

"It's been an absolute pleasure to have led and been a part of the St Lucia Zouks from its inception, " said Sammy. 

"Even though some may say good things must come to an end, it will not be in this instance: St Lucia Zouks and I will always be a team. 

"But since venturing into coaching, I realise I have a new passion that can allow me to still contribute and play a part in taking the franchise forward on its quest to winning a CPL title and developing future stars." 

Sammy will remain with the Zouks as a T20 cricket consultant and brand ambassador. He is still the head coach of the Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League, too.

"Daren is an icon of West Indies white-ball cricket and the heartbeat of St Lucia Zouks, " added Zouks head coach Andy Flower. 

"He's decided to step away from playing after a fantastic career both with the West Indies, where he led the side to two T20 World Cups, but also as an inspirational leader, full of integrity, for the island. 

"We want to continue our partnership with Daren coming in as part ambassador, part coach, part mentor alongside me. 

"I have loved my interaction with him. Thank you very much for what you have done and look forward to working with you in the future." 

The CPL 2021 is scheduled to start on 28 August. It will be played entirely at Warner Park in St Kitts and Nevis. The tournament will involve several stars from abroad, including Zimbabwe's Sikandar Raza, New Zealand's Colin Munro, Pakistan's Haider Ali and Afghanistan's Naveen-ul-Haq. 

"Warner Park has been the scene of some of the most iconic matches in CPL history and the high-scoring ground will be an ideal venue for the tournament, and fans can expect explosive cricket, " stated tournament organisers. 

Many domestic batsmen, bowlers, all-rounders and wicket keepers will be eager to push for inclusion in the West Indies' T20 World Cup squad during the CPL.

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