DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, CMC – Exciting batting prospect Sherfane Rutherford is one of several West Indies players snapped up in the players draft for the second edition of the innovative T20 League here Monday night.
The 20-year-old attracted global attention during the Global T20 Canada last July when he blasted an unbeaten 134 off just 66 balls to put West Indies B into the final of the tournament in Toronto.
Rutherford also impressed more recently with a series of cameo outings for his native Guyana Amazon Warriors which also helped propel them into the final of the Caribbean Premier League.
The left-hander will turn out for Bengal Tigers and will play alongside Trinidadians Kevon Cooper and Rayad Emrit.
Meanwhile, superstar Chris Gayle will headline the Caribbean contingent in the November 23 to December 2 tournament at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
The 39-year-old left-hander, who has the record for the most runs in the Twenty20 format, has been drafted by defending champions Kerala Kings.
Northern Warriors, which will be led by two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain Darren Sammy, will feature a host of Windies stars including Rovman Powell, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith and Nicholas Pooran along with the lesser well known pair of Khary Pierre and Kennar Lewis.
Pierre, a 27-year-old left-arm spinner, also shone in the Global T20 Canada for West Indies B and also starred for CPL champions Trinbago Knight Riders, taking 11 wickets in seven matches.
Sammy said he was pleased with the look of his side, especially with the inclusion of key players from the Caribbean.
“I’m quite happy with the selection we’ve got,” the veteran all-rounder said following the draft. “People might say there’s a bias to the West Indian guys but when you look at the positions and the composition of the team there’s always a West Indian player that comes up too match the situation – so pretty happy.”
Rajputs will feature West Indies T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite, Pakhtoons have signed Andre Fletcher while Karachians picked up Barbados fast bowler Jofra Archer, who campaigns in England for English county Sussex.
Last year’s losing finalists, Punjabi Legends, will have Barbados-born England star Chris Jordan in their ranks.
The preliminary phase will be contested in two groups with Group A comprising Kerala Kings, Karachians, Pakhtoons and Rajputs and Group B featuring Punjabi Legends, Bengal Tigers, Maratha Arabians, Northern Warriors.