Indian cricketer Ambati Rayudu joins St Kitts & Nevis Patriots as marquee player for CPL 2023, potentially becoming second Indian to feature. Rayudu retired after IPL triumph, withdrew from US league due to BCCI cooling-off proposal.
In a significant development, Ambati Rayudu is poised to become the second Indian cricketer to participate in the men’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), after signing with the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots as their marquee player for the upcoming season.
Rayudu, aged 37, previously retired from both international and Indian cricket after contributing to Chennai Super Kings’ fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) championship victory in May of this year. Following this, he was set to join the Texas Super Kings for the inaugural Major League Cricket competition in the USA. However, he withdrew from the league just days before its commencement due to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) proposed rule requiring retired Indian players to undergo a one-year cooling-off period before participating in overseas franchise leagues.
If Rayudu’s participation in the CPL is approved, he will increase the Indian representation in the men’s league. Previously, Pravin Tambe was the first Indian to compete in the men’s CPL while playing for the Trinbago Knight Riders in 2020. Shreyanka Patil is set to become the first Indian participant in the Women’s CPL.
Rayudu’s inclusion in the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots squad will replace South African all-rounder Tristan Stubbs, who will not be available for CPL 2023. Rayudu’s extensive experience, having played over 100 IPL matches and won six IPL titles, is expected to bolster the Patriots’ lineup. His acquisition could potentially fill the void left by Dwayne Bravo’s return to the Trinbago Knight Riders.
Patriots owner Mahesh Ramani expressed confidence in Rayudu’s ability to contribute to the team’s success, while TA Adhishwar, the director of cricket at Patriots, anticipates that Rayudu’s vast experience will greatly benefit the squad.
The men’s CPL 2023 tournament is scheduled to take place across five Caribbean islands from August 16 to September 24. The CPL’s timeline will coincide with England’s Hundred tournament, which runs from August 1 to August 27, as well as the Lanka Premier League’s knockout phase. St Kitts & Nevis Patriots will commence their campaign against the Trinbago Knight Riders on August 19 in St Lucia.