Diaspora hopefuls gear up for CPL Draft

Steven Taylor (Photo by Randy Brooks/CPL)

The player draft for the upcoming Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 tournament has been scheduled for February 11 in Barbados.

This year’s competition will see a number of changes that may see more Diaspora cricket players from the U.S. in the league. New reforms in the rules have increased the number of players who must live in the franchise territory being reduced from four to two, opening up potential recruitment. The limit on overseas players has also increased from four to five players.

The league has been making strides in increasing talent from the diaspora, Last season saw the introduction of ICC Americas players, with South Florida’s own cricketer, Jamaican-American Steven Taylor playing for the Barbados Tridents – who has made several star turns for the national American team in international matches – and Canadian-based player Nikhil Dutta playing for the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots squads.

Commenting on the changes to the format, Tom Moody, International Director of Cricket for CPL said; “Our aim each year is to make CPL even bigger and better so that we can attract the best T20 players in the world and make it as entertaining as possible for the fans.  Over the past few months we’ve worked alongside the franchise owners to make sure that the 2016 player draft is open and competitive so that the buzz and excitement of CPL will start building from January right through to the tournament launch in the summer.

In addition, the number of players that a franchises can retain before the player draft is held has been reduced from four to three, while squad sizes increase from 16 to 17 for the new season. The new rules also allow the six franchise teams to sign one ‘marquee’ player as a free agent before the draft process begins.

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