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Haynes has big expectations from CPL 3rd edition

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Bridgetown (Barbados), May 19 (IANS) Batting legend Desmond Haynes has backed this year’s Caribbean Premier League to be played between June 20 to July 26, to be one of the best ever.

The 59-year-old, who serves as ambassador for the Barbados Tridents, said that with the quality of overseas players and the well-balanced nature of the six franchises, the tournament could prove to be the stand-out edition, reports CMC.

“I believe this could be the best CPL because looking at the teams I find that the teams are well balanced and all the teams are very competitive,” Haynes said on Monday.

“With those big stars coming to be a part of CPL I think it is good for the competition. Over the last couple of years, CPL has been very good in having some very balanced sides but as you know, cricket is played on the day.

“But looking at the teams on paper, you would think that this CPL will be the best one of the three.”

South Africa’s Jacques Kallis heads the list of overseas stars coming for the third edition of the CPL, with Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Lasith Malinga, England’s Kevin Pietersen and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi also set to feature.

Despite the influx of stars, Haynes says he did not expect any one team to dominate the tournament, as success would also be down to team unity.

“All the teams are very competitive. You may look at one or two teams that do have some big names but a lot of the teams have good units and play together,” he pointed out.

“Take the Tridents for example, if it is one thing you can say about us is that we always play together, we gel well and everybody likes the leader.

“Polly (Kieron Pollard) has an influence on the team which makes everybody happy to be around him. And we’ve got the senior players that don’t matter what you ask of them, these guys are willing to do it for the team.”

Tridents are the defending champions after beating Guyana Amazon Warriors in a highly charged final in St. Kitts last August.

The two teams will feature in the curtain-raiser at Kensington Oval, the first of four matches that are expected to draw sell-out crowds.

Tridents will also take on 2013 champions Jamaica Tallawahs, last year’s semi-finalist Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel and new franchise, the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

The CPL features six franchises — Tridents, Jamaica Tallawahs, T&T Red Steel, St Lucia Zouks, Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots – competing in 33 matches.

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