Top trio to join Limacol CPL Franchises
Caribbean Premier League Media Release.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Three of the world’s leading Twenty20 players, the Sri Lanka duo of Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, along with former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood, are coming to play in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (LCPL), organisers have confirmed.
Batsman Jayawardene, who sits in tenth place in the list of all-time run-scorers in Twenty20 cricket, is stepping in for the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in place of South African Davy Jacobs, ruled out with an injury to his right ankle.
Fast bowler Malinga, second in the list of all-time wicket-takers in the shortest form of the game, replaces Pakistan Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez for the Guyana Amazon Warriors, with Hafeez set to join his country’s upcoming Pakistan tour of Zimbabwe. Malinga once took four wickets in four balls for Sri Lanka against South Africa in 2007’s ICC Cricket World Cup in Guyana.
Like Hafeez, Umar Akmal of the Barbados Tridents is also heading to Zimbabwe with his national team, which has created the opportunity for Mahmood, currently fourth in that list of all-time Twenty20 wicket-takers.
In another change, Orlando Peters has also been confirmed as the replacement for South Africa all-rounder Justin Kemp for the Antigua Hawksbills with Kemp side lined with an injury to his right gluteal muscle.
Commenting on his impending LCPL debut, Jayawardene said: “I've always enjoyed playing cricket in the Caribbean, so I am really looking forward to this short stint with T&T Red Steel.
“We have got a really talented young team and I hope I can help us first get into the semi-finals and then go on and challenge for the title. “It should be a really entertaining and exciting finale to the tournament,” he added.
Lasith Malinga agreed. “Playing cricket in the West Indies is always fun and I am really looking forward to playing in the final stages of the inaugural Limacol CPL.
“I’ve been following the progress of the tournament back home and I am very happy to be joining the Guyana Amazon Warriors.”
The 36 year-old Jayawardene has played for three franchises – Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab and Kochi Tuskers Kerala – in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He has a total of 3876 runs in the shortest form of the game at an average of 29.36 and a strike-rate of 130.02 runs per hundred balls, including two hundreds, and he captained Sri Lanka to the final of the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last October.
Jayawardene, who has more than 23,000 runs in international cricket, has played 138 Tests, 404 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 48 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).
He led Sri Lanka in 38 Tests, 129 ODIs and 19 T20Is and it is hoped he will be available for the Red Steel’s match against the St Lucia Zouks in Jamaica on Saturday.
Malinga has 219 wickets in Twenty20 cricket, a mark bettered only by one player – South Africa’s Alfonso Thomas. That haul of wickets includes the remarkable analysis of six for seven for the Melbourne Stars against the Perth Scorchers last December in the latest Big Bash League in Australia.
The 29 year-old has played in 30 Tests, 152 ODIs and 45 T20Is and has a total of 387 international wickets. He is one of only seven bowlers in history to have taken more than 50 international wickets in the shortest form of the game.
Azhar Mahmood last played for Pakistan in 2007 and since then has become one of the most highly-regarded all-rounders in Twenty20 history.
He has played shortform cricket for teams from five different countries – including in India for the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL – and most recently has been part of the Surrey side that has reached the semi-final of England’s domestic Twenty20 tournament.
Mahmood’s haul of 213 wickets in Twenty20 cricket places him fourth in the list of all-time wicket-takers behind Thomas, Malinga and Australia fast bowler Dirk Nannes, and added to that effectiveness with the ball is 3633 runs at a strike-rate of 136.06 runs per hundred balls, including two hundreds.
Mahmood’s international career included 21 Tests and 143 ODIs with his last appearance in Pakistan colours coming during the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007.
The 25 year-old Orlando Peters made his Limacol CPL debut for the Antigua Hawksbills on Tuesday and made a crucial 31 from 22 balls to help steer the home side to victory over the Barbados Tridents in a low-scoring thriller.
The Tridents’ next match is on Saturday 17 August against Jamaica Tallawahs in Kingston, while the Guyana Amazon Warriors next action is on the same day, against the Antigua Hawksbills in Antigua.
The inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League runs until 24 August with the two semi-finals and final taking place in Trinidad.
Keep up with Limacol CPLT20
Caribbean Premier League Media Release.