One of the most consistent teams in the Caribbean Premier League along with Trinbago Knight Riders, the Guyana Amazon Warriors are yet to win a title despite reaching the playoffs every single season; the Knight Riders are the only other team to achieve the feat. The Warriors are set to begin their journey against the Knight Riders in the inaugural game of the season and the encounter is expected to be a thrilling contest between two of the best sides in the league.
Guyana Amazon Warriors have managed to reach the finals 5 out of 7 times so far and finished at the third position in the other two seasons. Like every past seasons, the team has a well-balanced look and it will be no surprise if they finally manage to break the jinx and lift their maiden title.
Guyana signed Kiwi middle order mainstay Ross Taylor and Kevin Sinclair and got Afghan pacer Naveen-ul-Haq, under-19 star Ashmead Nedd and US all-rounder Jasdeep Singh in the draft. However, the Pakistan duo of Shoaib Malik and Shadab Khan will be unavailable for the season courtesy the Pakistan tour to England.
[Also read – CPL 2020: All you need to know about Jamaica Tallawahs]
Retained: Imran Tahir (Overseas), Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Green (Overseas), Qais Ahmad (Overseas) (Unavailable), Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Odean Smith, Anthony Bramble.
Signed: Ross Taylor (Overseas), Kevin Sinclair.
Drafted: Naveen-ul-Haq (Overseas), Ashmead Nedd, Jasdeep Singh (ICC Americas pick).
Replacement: Kissoondath Magram
Strength and Weakness:
If you want to know how the core of the West Indies limited overs batting will look like in the coming years, you need to look no further than the Guyana batting lineup. Constituting the likes of Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Sherfane Rutherford and Chanderpaul Hemraj, Guyana Amazon Warriors boast of a terrific batting lineup.
[Also read – CPL 2020: All you need to know about Barbados Tridents]
King was the top scorer in CPL 2019, with 496 runs under his belt at an astonishing average of 55.11 with a trike arte of 148.95. Guyana’s good run in 2019 can be attributed largely to the superb form of King and Hemraj at the top, with both of them featuring in the top 10 run-getters of the season.
Shimron Hetmyer, known for his big hitting especially against spin, might need to improve upon his performance in T20s. But given his potential, he can be an absolute match-winner on his day. Nicholas Pooran is now a hot property in T20 cricket and will hold the key in the middle order. His form will be crucial to Guyana’s chances this season. Ross Taylor will play the role of an anchor in the batting lineup, much like Shoaib Malik did last season. Sherfane Rutherford and Keemo Paul, followed by Chris Green form a good enough lower middle order. Rutherford in particular will hold the key for finishing games along with Taylor and Pooran.
With Malik and Shadab unavailable, the spin department has definitely taken a hit, but Imran Tahir and Chris Green are good enough options to take the team through. They will also miss the services of Afghan leggie Qais Ahmed, who is set to miss the season due to visa issues. Kissoondath Magram, a 20-year old wrist spinner has been named as the replacement for Qais. Ashmead Nedd was really impressive in the U-19 World cup and is an exciting prospect to look forward to and so is the off-break bowler Kevin Sinclair.
Guyana, despite having a decent first choice pace attack, lack quality alternatives. Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd and Naveen-ul-Haq form the core of the pace attack, with Rutherford also capable of bowling cutters. With 3 of the bowlers, Tahir, Shepherd and Green, being amongst the top 10 wicket takers last season, the Guyana bowling lineup holds a promising look.
Probable Playing XI:
Brandon King, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Ross Taylor, Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul, Chris Green, Romario Shepherd, Imran Tahir, Naveen-ul-Haq
A top 4 finish is almost a certainty unless the Warriors do something terribly wrong. They also have a very good chance of bettering their past record and go one step ahead to lift their maiden title.