The second most successful team in the Caribbean Premier League, after Trinbago Knight Riders, Jamaica Tallawahs have a cult status of their own in the Caribbean Islands after they, under the leadership of Chris Gayle, won the inaugural tournament by getting the better of Guyana Amazon Warriors in the final at Queen's Park Oval. The Jamaica Tallawahs team repeated the heroics in the 2016 edition when Gayle led them to another title by beating the same opposition and became one of the most formidable teams in the competition, which is further validated thanks to their incredible home record.
In some ways, they have been the cornerstone of the league’s success too due to the presence of some of the best players in the business and of course, their home venue, which has fallen in love with T20 cricket with two of their star localities - Gayle and Dre Russ. The two of the biggest superstars of the format will be reunited in what can only be called a dream combination.
The return of the Universe Boss has to be one of the best narratives for the Jamaica-based team, especially because the veteran’s mere presence has proved to be the lucky charm for whichever team he has played in the CPL. After leaving his home town-based team following 2016 heroics, Gayle joined now-defunct St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and eventually led them to the final in 2017 and the playoffs in 2018. His return is sure to boost the morale of the side that also has the likes of Rovman Powell, Oshane Thomas, Chadwick Walton, and Afghanistan’s Zahir Khan.
While they haven’t announced the skipper, it seems apparent that Russell will continue leading the side, although Gayle is a strong option for the same. The team has a nice blend of youth and experience, with Oshane Thomas being the spearhead of the bowling attack while former Windies opener and current USA international Xavier Marshall will open the innings alongside the big man Gayle.
In what has come as a good news for the home supporters, the Jamaica Tallawahs team will be playing all of their five home CPL games at Sabina Park this time, unlike last season when they had to play three of their home games in Florida to satisfy an agreement with the Florida-based ownership group Kris Persaud, whose Worldwide Sports Management Group took control of the Jamaica Tallawahs in 2017. However, after drawing critical comments from last year’s captain Andre Russell due to the large support for away teams Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders.
The Jamaica Tallawahs team shares a strong rivalry with the Warriors and have beaten them twice in two finals they have qualified so far. If anything, the tournament, with Gayle being back in the scheme of things again, will provide a chance at bringing the past to present and then add another chapter to the storyline. Just imagine how beautiful that will be!
Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Chadwick Walton, Rovman Powell, Zahir Khan, Oshane Thomas, Glenn Phillips, George Worker, Amad Butt, Christopher Lamont, Shamar Springer, Ramaal Lewis, Steven Jacobs, Derval Green, Javelle Glen, Imran Khan, Xavier Marshall
Jamaica Tallawahs are slated to play the most successful CPL franchise of all-time Trinbago Knight Riders in the opening encounter at the latter’s home ground of Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain on Friday and that will start the campaign for the franchise. As discussed, the Jamaica Tallawahs team has a wonderful blend of youth and experience and if Gayle can give the team a good start, trust Russell to give the finishing touches like the way he used to in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League. This makes the team of Jamaica Tallawahs the perfect CPL betting option!
One of the team’s biggest strengths has to be the way they have formed the team. With Marshall and Gayle at the top, it is the envy of every opposition, and the duo will hold the key to the team’s success in the forthcoming tournament. Their bowling is manned by the very impressive Oshane Thomas who has been quite a revelation in Caribbean cricket and his raw pace, coupled with the fact that he can swing both ways, makes him an exciting prospect in this season’s CPL.
However, it is the depth of the Jamaica Tallawahs squad that is a concern for the two-time champions. Rovman Powell is definitely a promising batsman, but that promise is yet to be converted to some eye-catching scores. He can hit a long ball but can he do it for long, and on a consistent basis? It was a question that has been there with him ever since his Kolkata Knight Riders days, and add to that Chadwick Walton’s false promise, things seem a bit bleak for the Jamaica-based franchise. Whether or not the Jamaica Tallawahs squad is up for the rigours of the CPL remains to be seen, but for now, at least on paper, it is a question that will hang over them as the tournament draws closer.
But is there an opportunity for anyone in the Jamaica Tallawahs squad to fly under the radar and make a mark on the occasion? As the opposition is going to be overwhelmed by the presence of Gayle and Russell, Jamaica Tallawahs have two fine Kiwi top-order batsmen to unleash as wildcards. Glenn Phillips and George Worker have already played for New Zealand in the senior international cricket, and have shown their quality as batsmen too. Using them in the right fashion will have a huge bearing on the eventual result of the game as Worker recently showed in the Supersmash, how dangerous he can if he can get the freedom to express himself.
All in all, they certainly have the resources to pull off a coup and can take the trophy home, irrespective of what comes their way, but one thing that the team management needs to keep in mind, T20 is a volatile format and a moment of casual approach can change the result on its head. In realisation of this simple fact lies the senior players big contribution.
If you feel that everything is in place for Jamaica Tallawahs to make a run for the title, you would not be wrong. Even the bookmakers favour them heavily going into the tournament with great odds. Only Trinbago Knight Riders, booked at 2.75, are favoured over the team from Jamaica - who are placed second at 4.00. With the team a heavy favorite to make the playoffs, you can easily maximize your CPL betting winnings, or completely eliminate your losses, as the tournament comes to its conclusion.
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