The stage is set for the Dream XI Trinidad T10 Blast second edition, which bowls off at Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba, next Wednesday.
The six competing teams are defending champions Fine Choice Steelpan Strikers, Fides Ltd Scarlet Ibis Scorchers, Soca Kings, Valini’s Drug Mart Leatherback Giants, Scorpion/Titans Blue Devils and Tiger Tanks Cocorite Cavaliers.
They were finalised at the official player draft at the National Cricket Centre, Couva on Tuesday.
The captains of each franchise, who were selected last week, together with their respective team managers handpicked 13 players each from a player pool of 197 local cricketers.
Of these, 12 players (two for each team) made up the marquee player pool.
Having won the first draft marquee player pick, Fine Choice Steelpan Strikers captain Imran Khan and his support staff selected Jyd Goolie as their top choice. Their second was Jeremy Solozano.
Other marquee picks were Mark Deyal, Yannic Cariah (Leatherback Giants); Jesse Bootan, Bryan Charles (Cocrico Cavaliers); Khary Pierre, Keagan Simmons (Scarlet Ibis Scorchers); Isaiah Rajah, Kirstan Kalicharan (Soca Kings); and Shannon Gabriel, Uthman Muhammad (Blue Devils).
Charles, Cariah and Solozano, however, will miss the first two rounds of competition, having been selected to a West Indies president’s XI team. They return on June 13 and will be available to play on the following day.
In the interim, Suruj Seepaul (Cavaliers), Matthew Patrick (Giants) and Kiedel Glasgow (Steelpan Strikers) will be their respective replacements.
Khan, title-winning skipper of the tournament’s first edition, said his team hopes to retain the coveted crown, although the new draft system did not allow teams to retain players from the previous staging.
“It’s always good defending a title. It wouldn’t be easy, but it’s just about playing good cricket. The team looks good, so once we prepare well, we would have a good chance of retaining the crown.
While acknowledging there were: “A lot of changes (in the team) because of the new draft system. So we didn’t get back some of the players we wanted," he said, "We planned well and still were able to get some important players that we think can help us to go all the way.”
The victorious team pockets a hefty $100,000. Runners-up earn $50,000 and the third-placed team earns $20,000.
All matches take place at the south venue. From June 8-24, two matches bowl off daily with the opening fixture from noon and the second from 2.30pm.
Additionally, TT Cricket Board president Azim Bassarath said the first Dream XI-sponsored Trinidad T10 Blast was a resounding success earlier this year and led to the second edition.
He also signalled the sponsors were very pleased and that a third edition is in the works later in the year, tentatively in October. Bassarath also welcomed the opportunity to provide another platform for cricket to be played after covid19 restrictions were lifted in January.
“We lost two years because of the pandemic and although the T10 is the shortest format of the game, it is highly popular with the cricketers and fans, and provides great entertainment,” said Bassarath.
Dream XI Trinidad T10 Blast Teams
FINE CHOICE STEELPAN STRIKERS – Imran Khan (captain), Jyd Goolie, Jeremy Solozano, Lendl Simmons, Teshawn Castro, Marlon Richards, Adrian Ali, Rivaldo Ramlogan, Ahkeel Mollon, Philton Williams, Kyle Ramdoo, Jarlarnie Seales, Qwinci Babel, Shazan Babwah, Kiedel Glasgow
SOCA KINGS – Jason Mohammed (captain), Isaiah Rajah, Kirstan Kallicharan, Jon-Russ Jagessar, Leonardo Julien, Sion Hackett, Ricky Jaipaul, Shiva Sankar, James Duncan, Mbeki Joseph, Chadeon Raymond, Rajeev Ramnath, Kavesh Kantasingh, Rickson Maniram
VALINI’S DRUG MART LEATHERBACK GIANTS – Terrance Hinds (captain), Mark Deyal, Yannic Cariah, Kjorn Ottley, Crystian Thurton, Joshua James, Jahron Alfred, Saiba Battoosingh, Andrew Rambaran, Keon Isaac, Jabari Mills, Narad Kissoondath, Denzil Antoine, Justyn Gangoo, Matthew Patrick
TIGER TANKS COCRICO CAVALIERS – Denesh Ramdin (captain), Jesse Bootan, Bryan Charles, Amir Jangoo, Strassark Sankar, Akeil Cooper, Shaaron Lewis, Rakesh Maharaj, Ramesh Brijlal, Barry Bhandoo, Akeem Alvarez, Stephawn Solomon, Adrian Cooper, Liam Mamchan, Suruj Seepaul
FIDES LTD SCARLET IBIS SCORCHERS – Tion Webster (captain), Khary Pierre, Keagan Simmons, Kamil Pooran, Dexter Sweene, Joshua Ramdoo, Akil Mitchell, Anderson Mahase, Kieshawn Dillon, Anthony Alexander, Randy Mahase, Camilio Carimbocas, Amir Ali, Kashtri Singh
SCORPION/TITANS BLUE DEVILS – Rayad Emrit (captain), Shannon Gabriel, Uthman Muhammad, Christopher Vincent, Vikash Mohan, Nicholas Sookdeosingh, Vishan Jagessar, Dejourn Charles, Mario Belcon, Aaron Alfred, Navin Bidaisee, Kyle Roopchand, Ansil Bhagan, Damion Joachim