The Caribbean Premier League of 2020 (CPL) is finally about to get underway. We have the fixtures, squads, game dates and stadiums and all that is left is for the action to begin.
The tournament will be the first T20 competition to play since the worldwide shut down due to Covid-19. With the IPL following on from the CPL in September, there will no doubt be a lot of people interested to see how the CPL works, what positives we see and if there are any issues to overcome.
The first game is scheduled for August 18, while the final will round things off on September 10. A total of 33 games will take place and these are all being played in Trinidad and Tobago, spread across two venues.
23 games will take place at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, the first 10 and last 10 league games plus the two semi finals and final. The middle 10 league games will be played at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, to give the other pitch a chance to rest and recover.
The tournament will take behind closed doors in full, with the players being part of a bio-secure environment. Strict protocols are in place here to protect the players from Covid-19, and assuming this works as planned, it should give the players an environment in which they can play and express themselves.
There is a real appetite for sport around the world right now and cricket wants to be a part of that. The CPL is going to be different this year, but the hope is that the quality of the games on offer will be as good, if not better, than we have seen before.
CPL Teams & Tournament Format
The current champions of the CPL are the Barbados Tridents and they are one of six teams taking part this season. Last year’s runners up the Guyana Amazon Warriors are back, with the Trinbago Knight Riders, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, Jamaica Tallawahs and St Lucia Zouks rounding off the six teams.
The six teams will all play 10 games in a group stage to begin with, two games against each of their opponents. That will give us a final table, where the top four teams will qualify for the semi finals. These will be played with the winners moving onto play each other in the final of the tournament.
This is a very simple and easy to understand format for the fixtures, which is great to see. By having four of the six teams make the semi finals, that should give us a scenario where most of the games have some real meaning to them in the group stages.
CPL Betting Previews
The six teams have been busy this summer, adding players to their squads and trying to put together a team that can compete with the players that have made themselves available. We have a large number of players who have been retained and some new exciting stars which should really add to the tournament. Let’s take a look at each team and their respective cricket betting odds.
The Tridents won the tournament last year and come back looking to defend their title. They have Jason Holder in their ranks, along with two talented New Zealanders, Corey Anderson and Mitchell Santner.
However, all three may have to take a backseat behind young Afghan spinner Rashid Khan. He was an exciting pickup during the draft and seems certain to make an impact.
Tournament Odds: 4.5
Guyana Amazon Warriors
The Amazon Warriors won all 10 of their league games last year before losing in the final to Barbados. They have retained the majority of their team which puts them in position to make another strong challenge.
New Zealander Ross Taylor comes in to bolster a squad that includes Imran Tahir, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul. The Warriors have depth, quality in all areas and look sure to go close again.
Tournament Odds: 3.75
The Tallawahs begin life without Chris Gayle this year, and have brought in a couple of new additions to try and plug the gap left. They include Pakistan batsman Asif Ali, while they also have Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell and Sandeep Lamichhane.
The Tallawahs have a sprinkling of talent but haven’t replaced Gayle and it would be a surprise to see them get to the final in 2020.
Tournament Odds: 7.0
St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Captain Rayad Emrit has a few new weapons at his disposal this time around. Australians Chris Lynn and Ben Dunk have been brought into the team, two good moves if they acclimatise to playing in Trinidad quickly.
Evin Lewis and Sheldon Cotterell are two other key players here and while they don’t quite have the same quality as some of the bigger teams, if things click the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots will win games this year.
Tournament Odds: 6.0
St Lucia Zouks
The Zouks lack the quality to get involved this season, and look set for a struggle. They have Daren Sammy and Roston Chase while Mohammad Nabi also has the ability to help but other than the big three, things are very limited for this team.
The Zouks and Tallawahs look set to battle it out to avoid bottom in the league standings, and on paper the Zouks look like the team set to miss out.
Tournament Odds: 10.0
Trinbago Knight Riders
Winners in 2017 and 2018, the Trinbago Knight Riders are expected to be involved in the finish of every CPL tournament. This year they look set for another good challenge.
Brendon McCullum has brought in fellow New Zealander Tim Seifert while Australian leg spinner Fawad Ahmed is back after a year out. Add in Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro, Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo and this team is stacked full of talent and ready to challenge.
Tournament Odds: 3.75
History of The Caribbean Premier League
A total of seven CPL tournaments have taken place, with the first being back in 2013. Although we have seen seven years of competition, only three different franchises have ever won.
The Trinbago Knight Riders are the most successful franchise with a total of three wins to their name including back to back tournament wins in 2017 and 2018. The most recent winners were the Barbados Tridents who won in 2019 to add to their victory back in 2014 to give them two total wins.
Rounding off the roll of honour, the Jamaica Tallawahs won the inaugural CPL event back in 2013 and added to that with another victory in 2016.
Will one of these three write their name on the tournament roll of honour again in 2020 or is it time to see a new name on the list?
Who is the best bet for the CPL 2020?
The question on everyone’s lips is who wins this tournament?
The six teams are likely to split into two looking at how they line up on paper. There are three teams who will consider themselves in with a good chance of winning the tournament. The remaining three will battle it out for the final spot in the semi final stage, and also to avoid finishing bottom.
Should one of the top three miss out on the semi finals, that would certainly be a surprise and it is these three teams you need to focus on when looking to find the winner.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors, Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Tridents are the three teams that will likely give us the winner. Betting with 10cric shows that the bookmakers are struggling to split these, which is no surprise.
Trinbago and Barbados have won the last three tournaments between them and a total of five titles from the seven years we have watched this tournament.
Guyana have a huge amount of quality, but struggle to get over the line. Last season was a typical example of that, they reached the final by winning every game in the group stage and their semi final before being beaten in the final.
They have always reached the knockout stage, lost in the final on five occasions and finished third in the other two years. But do they have what it takes to actually get over the line?
This year they finally could have. The addition of Ross Taylor is big for them, a hugely experienced big hitter who knows how to win and has experienced pretty much every aspect of cricket during his long career.
He joins a squad stacked with talent, and one that can win this tournament. If you are having an online bet on the CPL, we suggest you back the Warriors as they are our tip for the tournament.
Trinbago and Barbados are both full of quality too and will chase down Guyana, but there looks to be something special about our selection, a team who was far superior in every game except one last season.
A mental challenge awaits, they have to put the loss last year behind them but are fancied to do so. There is a lot of experience in this team, Ross Taylor adds more and he is a very important addition, exactly the type of player that was needed by the franchise.
Tournament Pick: Guyana Amazon Warriors @ 3.75
CPL Match Tips
Tuesday 18th August, 2020: Trinbago Knight Riders vs Guyana Amazon Warriors
Tuesday 18th August, 2020: Barbados Tridents vs St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Wednesday 19th August, 2020: Jamaica Tallawahs vs St Lucia Zouks
Wednesday 19th August, 2020: Guyana Amazon Warriors v St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Thursday 20th August, 2020: St Lucia Zouks vs Barbados Tridents
Thursday 20th August, 2020: Trinbago Knight Riders vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Saturday 22nd August, 2020: St Kitts & Nevis Patriots vs St Lucia Zouks
Saturday 22nd August, 2020: Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Sunday 23rd August, 2020: Trinbago Knight Riders vs Barbados Tridents
Sunday 23rd August, 2020: Guyana Amazon Warriors vs St Lucia Zouks
Tuesday 25th August, 2020: St Kitts & Nevis Patriots vs Barbados Tridents
Tuesday 25th August, 2020: Jamaica Tallawahs vs Guyana Amazon Warriors
Wednesday 26th August, 2020: St Lucia Zouks vs Trinbago Knight Riders
Wednesday 26th August, 2020: Barbados Tridents vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Thursday 27th August, 2020: St Lucia Zouks vs St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Thursday 27th August, 2020: Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Trinbago Knight Riders
Saturday 29th August, 2020: Barbados Tridents vs Trinbago Knight Riders
Saturday 29th August, 2020: St Kitts & Nevis Patriots vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Sunday 30th August, 2020: St Kitts & Nevis Patriots v Guyana Amazon Warriors
Sunday 30th August, 2020: Barbados Tridents vs St Lucia Zouks
Tuesday 1st September, 2020: Jamaica Tallawahs vs Trinbago Knight Riders
Tuesday 1st September, 2020: Guyana Amazon Warriors vs Barbados Tridents
Wednesday 2nd September, 2020: Trinbago Knight Riders vs St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Wednesday 2nd September, 2020: St Lucia Zouks vs Guyana Amazon Warriors
Thursday 3rd September, 2020: Jamaica Tallawahs vs St Kitts & Nevis Patriots
Thursday 3rd September, 2020: Barbados Tridents vs Guyana Amazon Warriors
Saturday 5th September, 2020: Trinbago Knight Riders vs St Lucia Zouks
Saturday 5th September, 2020: Jamaica Tallawahs vs Barbados Tridents
Sunday 6th September, 2020: St Kitts & Nevis Patriots vs Trinbago Knight Riders
Sunday 6th September, 2020: St Lucia Zouks vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Tuesday 8th September, 2020 – Semi-Final 1: Trinbago Knight Riders vs Jamaica Tallawahs
Tuesday 8th September, 2020 – Semi-Final 2: Guyana Amazon Warriors vs St Lucia Zouks
Thursday 10th September, 2020 – Final: Trinbago Knight Riders vs St Lucia Zouks