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CPL 2023: Bravo reunites with captain Pollard at Trinbago Knight Riders

Oshane Thomas moves from Royals to Patriots and also reaches out to CWI for his road back to international cricket

Deivarayan Muthu
17-May-2023
Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard unveil the Selector Fan Cup trophy, Port-of-Spain, August 30, 2019

Dwayne Bravo will reunite with Kieron Pollard at Trinbago Knight Riders  •  TKR Knight Club

Dwayne Bravo will reunite with captain Kieron Pollard and head coach Phil Simmons at his home franchise Trinbago Knight Riders, having moved from St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, ahead of CPL 2023. Bravo is set to join an all-star TKR side that could include Pollard, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Nicholas Pooran. The quartet had played for TKR last season but couldn't prevent them from finishing last on the points table. It was the first time that TKR had failed to make the playoffs.
Bravo is currently with Chennai Super Kings in the IPL as their bowling coach, and Pollard is with Mumbai Indians as their batting coach.
"Very exciting times," Pollard said in a media statement. "The champion DJ Bravo is coming back to his home franchise TKR. Our relationship and our friendship is second to none and this is a very good opportunity for us both to represent TKR together once again, in the upcoming season. We are very happy to have him back in red and black."
Bravo had also recently played together with Pollard and Pooran for MI Emirates in the inaugural ILT20. Bravo is the highest wicket-taker in the CPL, with 124 scalps in 97 matches at an economy rate of 8.69. He is also the top wicket-taker overall in T20 cricket, with 615 strikes in 558 games at an economy rate of 8.23.
Bravo's TKR homecoming was announced a day after former West Indies head coach Simmons replaced Abhishek Nayar as the franchise's new coach.
Bravo had been central to Patriots winning the title in 2021. During that season, Bravo often stationed himself at mid-off or mid-on and mentored left-arm seam-bowling allrounder Dominic Drakes. However, in 2022, Patriots failed to qualify for the playoffs and finished second from bottom, just above TKR.

Malolan Rangarajan replaces Simon Helmot as Patriots coach

With both Bravo and coach Simon Helmot no longer with Patriots, they will have a new coach and captain in CPL 2023. Helmot had pulled out because of his other commitments. He is currently with Sunrisers Hyderabad as an assistant coach at the IPL in India.
Former Tamil Nadu spin-bowling allrounder Malolan Rangarajan, who was Helmot's assistant last season, has now been promoted to the head coach's role. This will be Malolan's first assignment as a head coach in any T20 league. He brings with him IPL experience: he is currently the fielding coach and head of scouting at Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the inaugural Women's Premier League, Malolan was RCB Women's assistant coach to head coach Ben Sawyer.

Patriots-bound Oshane Thomas on West Indies radar too

In another change, fast bowler Oshane Thomas has moved from Barbados Royals to Patriots. Patriots will be Thomas' third CPL team - he has also represented his home franchise Jamaica Tallawahs.
Of late, Thomas has been troubled by fitness issues. In the 2022 CPL, he played just three games for Royals, picking up three wickets in seven overs at an economy rate of 11.00.
Since then, Thomas has played just three T20s, in the Lanka Premier League for Kandy Falcons, and has recently reached out to CWI about his road back to international cricket.
"We are organising a programme for him to work with because when we talk about legbreak and googly bowling, we think the fast bowler is a crucial member of any team," West Indies' lead selector Desmond Haynes said during a virtual press conference earlier this week. "Oshane had the ability to bowl a cricket ball fast and he should be encouraged. We, as a panel, have had discussions with him and with his management. We understand that he is in England. I think my co-selector Mr [Roland] Butcher was looking at the possibility of getting a programme that we will be aware of, and we will be able to monitor.
"But we are very happy that he has reached out to us and we are very happy that we would be in conversation with him and we hope that with the new coach in position in Andre Coley, he was the interim coach in the last tour, but now that he is the [red-ball] coach, we are going to have some meetings regarding someone like an Oshane Thomas who we believe can play a role for us in Test cricket."

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo