KINGSTON, Jamaica – Former West Indies T20I skipper Carlos Brathwaite is reportedly set to join Jamaica Tallawahs as Chris Gayle’s replacement, after not being retained by the franchise he captained in the last Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots today released a list of seven regional players it had either retained or signed ahead of the start of the 2020 season, and Brathwaite was not included.
On the same day, the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper reported reliable sources as saying the 31-year-old Barbadian had been signed by Tallawahs, along with all-rounders Andrè Russell and Rovman Powell, while wicketkeeper-batsman Chadwick Walton and fast bowler Oshane Thomas have been retained.
However, CEO of the two-time championship team, Jeff Miller, declined to either confirm or deny the move, directing queries to CPL organisers.
“At this time only they can release names,” he said.
Brathwaite played four seasons for Patriots, leading the team in 2019 when T20 star Gayle left to return to Tallawahs after a two-year stint with the Basseterre-based franchise.
He is widely remembered for his last over heroics in the 2016 World T20, when he scored four consecutive sixes against Ben Stokes to bring home the second title for the Windies.
Brathwaite, however, has not lived up to expectations following his World Cup heroics and has found himself out of favour in both white-ball formats for the West Indies.
His reported addition to the Tallawahs squad comes on the heels of Gayle not being retained by the franchise, even with two years left in his contract. The 40-year-old cricketer has been signed by St. Lucia Zouks as their marquee player this season.
Gayle’s exit, which he controversially claimed was the result of a conspiracy involving assistant coach Ramnaresh Sarwan and Tallawahs’ management – a claim both have categorically denied in separate statements – also triggered another major player, Andre Russell, to announce this would be his last season at “the weirdest franchise” he has played for.
In addition to dropping Brathwaite, who has been replaced as captain by West Indies allrounder Rayad Emrit, Patriots also let go of head coach Robin Singh and named Australian Simon Helmot to fill his spot.
The franchise also signed West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman Denesh Ramdin who was not retained by Trinbago Knight Riders after four years with that franchise.
“I am very excited to be part of the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots for a second season,” Emrit said. “I think that the team that is selected this year is going to be a very exciting one. I am very excited to be named as captain. It’s always an honour and a privilege to lead a franchise. Our new coach, Simon Helmot, knows the CPL and he knows how to win titles. He and I are going to work very hard to get the team to the finals.”
This year’s CPL is scheduled for August 19 to September 26, but organisers say they are watching the global COVID-19 pandemic closely and are liaising with medical advisors and governments to make a decision on the tournament as soon as possible.
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