Pakistan players will only be available for the first half of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) since they are scheduled to return home by August 26 for Asia Cup preparations.
According to Team Operations Manager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Omar Khan, it was only on the day of the draft (March 1) that they learnt about this and given that the CPL will run from August 8 to September 16 the players will dent the plans for the various teams.
The former West Indies manager noted that the players have been asked to return home in order to attend a camp for the Asia Cup.
“Thus we have to now look at the availability of players among other factors as we head into the sixth season,” Khan declared.
At the CPL draft, Pakistan represented the largest overseas contingent of 53 entries into the draft with players scattered across the six franchises.
This means Amazon Warriors’ Sohail Tanvir, who was the leading wicket-taker last year and Shoaib Malik, will both head back to Pakistan.
They, will, however, be able to compete in the five home matches for the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Providence National Stadium.
Khan assured that the team was not panicking at this development but will look to the other international players like Luke Ronchi, who is setting alight the Pakistan Premiere League, Cameron Delport, Imran Tahir and Saurabh Netravalkar to step up along with the good quality regional and local players such as Rayad Emrit, Jason Mohammed, Chadwick Walton, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Akshaya Persaud, Gajanand Singh, Roshon Primus, Devendra Bishop and Veersammy Permaul.
Khan indicated that the management has to take into consideration the home factor and play towards their strength by finding payers best suited for the conditions.
He pointed out that despite always having the right formula to win the title, the Warriors are still searching for their maiden title but this year he is confident that they have worked out the kinks and hopefully the team can perform well on the day and bring it home.
While key players for the Warriors will be missing from the set up for the later part of the tournament, other teams will suffer the same loss with Imad Wazim (Jamaica Scorpions), Shadab Khan (Trinbago Knight Riders) and Wahab Riaz (Barbados Tridents) also in the CPL.
Tanvir was Amazon Warriors’ first pick while Malik was their second, going for $160,000 and $130,000 respectively.
Amazon Warriors are scheduled to play five games at home while the National Stadium is expected to host the two semifinals.
Trinidad and Tobago has signed on to host the final of the CPL for the next three years.
To date, Trinbago Knight Riders and Jamaica Tallawahs have won the tournament twice while Barbados Tridents have won it once.