LENDL Simmons will be suiting up for his home franchise team, Trinbago knight Riders (TKR) when the seventh edition of the Caribbean Premier League bowls off on Wednesday at the Queen’s Park Oval, Trinidad.
TT and West Indies opener, Simmons was surprisingly overlooked in the 2019 CPL draft and will now replace New Zealand`s Colin Munro for the first three matches. Munro has been the backbone of TKR batting for a few seasons and he was the tournament`s leading run-scorer last year with 567 runs in 13 innings, averaging 51.54 including six fifties.
Even though temporary, Simmons will be useful at the top order possibly pairing with Sunil Narine creating an explosive opening duo. The veteran of three T20 and two 50-Over World Cups is still a destructive batsman at the top of the order because of his ability to bat both spin and pace bowling. He is considered to be an all-rounder as he bowls gentle medium pace and is a useful wicket-keeper.
Despite amassing 1650 runs in CPL history, unfortunately, the 34-year-old has been a journeyman representing five franchises in the CPL, having played for Guyana Amazon Warriors, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks and now TKR.
The two-time T20 World Cup winner, Simmons last played for the West Indies two years ago with his T20 International record standing at 907 runs from 44 innings with a top score of an unbeaten 82 runs in the semi-final of the 2016 World Cup T20 against hosts India. His most successful stint with a franchise team is with Mumbai Indians in the India Premier League scoring 1,175 runs at an average of 40.51 including one century and 12 fifties claiming two league titles in 2015 and 2017.
Simmons will be available for the home matches against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots tomorrow, Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday and the St Lucia Zouks on Sunday.