Two Associate cricketers from Americas get CPL contracts

Bridgetown (Barbados), June 24 (IANS) American wicketkeeper Steven Taylor and Canadian off-spinner Nikhil Dutta will play in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) following successful try outs with Barbados Tridents and St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots.

Taylor and Dutta have become the first Associate players from the Americas region to be awarded CPL contracts. They were two of six players shortlisted for a chance to compete in a trial with West Indies Under-19 cricketers for a final roster spot in their nominated CPL franchise after participating in an ICC Americas squad camp last December in Barbados, reports CMC.

“Competition for a place in the CPL squads has been fierce. The coaches have been very impressed with the quality of young players on show, so it was hard to narrow it down to one player per squad,” declared Tom Moody, CPL Director of Cricket.

Taylor was the first United States player to score a Twenty20 century and was his country’s leading scorer at the 2013 World T20 Qualifier in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 271 runs at an average of 38.71.

Dutta was Canada’s leading wicket-taker at the recently concluded ICC Americas Division One T20 tournament in Indianapolis, taking 12 at an average of 9.41.

Taylor and Dutta are among six up-and-coming young cricketers with CPL contracts this year.

The others are West Indies U-19 player of the year Shimron Hetmeyer (Guyana Amazon Warriors), and former West Indies U-19 captain Ramaal Lewis (Jamaica Tallawahs), Gidron Pope (St. Lucia Zouks) and Mark Deyal (Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel).

“These six guys have a fantastic opportunity to make a name for themselves on the big stage and we wish them all the best for CPL 2015,” said Moody.

Both Taylor and Dutta may not be fully available for the CPL, having being named to represent their countries at the World T20 Qualifier in Ireland and Scotland starting early next month.

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