CPL 2021: Mohammad Amir to play for Barbados, Shoaib Malik returns to Guyana
Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane will pair up with defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders
Pakistan duo Mohammad Amir and Shoaib Malik have signed on with the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021 set to take place later this year in St Kitts and Nevis. Malik returns to Guyana Amazon Warriors, the side he led in 2018 and 2019, while Amir's first stint in the CPL sees will see him ply his trade with the Barbados Tridents. Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane will team up with defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders, having played for three separate teams in the last three seasons.
Malik has captained the Amazon Warriors in every game he has represented the outfit, though Nicholas Pooran will take over the role this year. Chris Green captained the side in 2020, leading them to the semi-finals. Some of Malik's best T20 form has come in the CPL, where he averages 43.60 with the bat and 15.66 with the ball
For Amir, the CPL is unchartered territory, but little surprise given his international retirement last year. Ever since, Amir has played in T20 leagues in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England and Pakistan, with 161 of his 220 T20 wickets coming in domestic T20 tournaments around the world.
The tournament is scheduled to begin on August 28, with the final on September 19. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all games will take place in St Kitts and Nevis. A televised players' draft will be held on Friday.
The CPL was the first of the major franchise T20 tournament to resume operations since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, playing the entire 2020 event in Trinidad split between two venues at Queen's Park Oval and Brian Lara Academy Stadium. However, the event was played entirely in a bio-bubble without any fan attendance. Recent internationals hosted by Cricket West Indies in Antigua have also been played without fans. But the CPL is pressing forward by encouraging fans to return to Warner Park - which will operate at up to 50 per cent capacity - provided they can demonstrate proof of vaccination.