Having dominated throughout CPL 2018, the Trinbago Knight Riders claimed their third Caribbean Premier League title to add to wins in 2015 and 2017.
They are considered the most powerful force in this competition, with Kieron Pollard – as experienced a T20 campaigner as you are likely to find worldwide – taking on the captaincy and Brendan McCullum, another short-format specialist, acting as the Trinbago Knight Riders team coach.
The franchise from Trinidad & Tobago will have their sights set on another title in this year’s edition too and given their dominance it’s no wonder they are the favourites to lift the trophy – check 10CRIC’s CPL betting odds.
One of the things that set the Trinbago Knight Riders squad apart from many of the others in the CPL is that the same players come back to represent them year after year. There is a strong connection to the franchise, and that’s why the likes of Dwayne Bravo – even though he has been ‘demoted’ from the captaincy – has committed himself to the Knight Riders for another year.
Colin Munro, the big-hitting New Zealander, will also return. He was the top run-scorer in CPL 2018, and his 68 not out from 39 balls in the final ultimately guided his team to glory.
Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin, who were prolific in 2018, also return, while the Knight Riders’ ranks have been bolstered by the signings of Sunil Narine, a proven T20 campaigner, and Jimmy Neesham, who shone in New Zealand’s run to the final of the World Cup in 2019.
The picture is not completely bright, however, with Fawad Ahmed one of the former Trinbago Knight Riders players that have jumped ship to St Lucia, while McCullum has retired from playing duties.
Ali Khan has been retained though, and he will lead a bowling attack that also includes the talented local hero Khary Pierre.
So, it’s all systems go for another tilt at the Caribbean Premier League’s top prize, although this Trinbago Knight Riders CPL team will have to come up with some strong performances against their old rivals: the Jamaica Tallawahs and the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The Tallawahs were the last team to beat the Knight Riders in a significant CPL match, downing them by 19 runs in the Qualifier 2 encounter in the 2016 edition.
Since then the Trinbago franchise has enjoyed plenty of success at the business end of the Caribbean Premier League, but don’t forget that the Tallawahs beat them in an all-time classic in the group phase of the 2018 edition. Andre Russell’s side chased down an incredible target of 223/6, with the captain himself delivering a career-defining performance with 121 not out in bat.
The Knight Riders gained revenge in the second group phase meeting – the winning runs being struck off the last ball, but this is a rivalry that is set to run and run.
The Trinbago team lost just four matches in CPL 2018, and two of those defeats were dished out by Guyana Amazon Warriors in a two-day reign of terror.
The first came in the final group game on September 9, when Shimron Hetmyer blitzed the ball to all parts as Guyana waltzed to victory.
And then, just two days later, the Amazon Warriors beat Trinbago once again in the Qualifier 1 match. Hetmyer again was the dominant force as his nerveless knock led Guyana with a victory with just one ball to spare.
The Knight Riders had the ultimate revenge by beating their rivals in the final, but this is another CPL feud that could lead to plenty of drama in the future.
As one of the pre-tournament favourites, bettors who have a wager on the Trinbago Knight Riders will surely get an excellent run for their money in the CPL betting journey.
They have such an incredible pedigree in this competition that it’s almost a given that they will reach the business end of the tournament, and the strength of their roster is such that failing to even make the final would be considered something of a disappointment.
You simply cannot put a price on the T20 experience they have in their ranks. The likes of Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Narine have made a career out of travelling the world and playing the shorter format of the game, and so they bring outstanding pedigree to the table as well as lots of trophy-winning experience.
Otherwise, the Knight Riders squad has a very balanced look to it. In Munro and Neesham, they have two players at the peak of their powers, while older heads like Ramdin and Lendl Simmons have been ‘around the block’ a few times and have lots of experience to offer.
And then you have Pierre and Ali, two proven performers in the Caribbean who simply love the conditions in this part of the world.
There’s a nice balance to the bowling attack too. Khan, Anderson Phillip and Mohammad Hasnain will lead the way with pace and guile, while the spin twins of Narine and Sri Lankan international Seekkuge Prasanna will be tough to score from. Add in the craft and skill of Bravo and Pollard, and there are lots of different options available to them.
It’s a roster that compares well to many of the other sides in this competition. The Jamaica Tallawahs have to be respected given that they have Russell, Chris Gayle and Oshane Thomas in their ranks, while Glen Phillips and Rovman Powell impressed in 2018. But do they have the strength in depth to go all the way in this Caribbean Premier League edition?
Most of the other franchises will pin their hopes on a couple of star-names and hope that their local boys and under-the-radar signings can come up with the goods as well.
The Barbados Tridents have Jason Holder, Shai Hope and Wahab Riaz, which is an all-star trio, while Alex Hales has been in excellent form for Nottinghamshire in the Natwest Blast in the UK – he will join up with the Tridents when that campaign has finished.
Guyana Amazon Warriors, so often the nearly-men of the Caribbean Premier League, will be captained by Shoaib Malik, who can call upon the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Hetmyer and the wily Imran Tahir, and so they have to be respected too.
St Kitts will be heavily reliant on their West Indies international trio of Carlos Braithwaite, Evin Lewis and Sheldon Cottrell, while St Lucia – not respected by the betting market – have a really interesting squad featuring the likes of Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Andre Fletcher and Colin de Grandhomme, while Fawad Ahmed – the leading wicket-taker of CPL 2018 – has signed on the dotted line.
But even so, the Trinbago Knight Riders are fully deserving of their status as tournament favourites, and they will be expected to lift the trophy when all is said and done. Consider that when placing your CPL bets on www.10CRIC.com, or go with another CPL betting preference.
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