St Kitts and Nevis Patriots faced with further setbacks as Zimbabwe’s Blessing Muzarabani also departs; Squad reshuffle underway
In a surprising turn of events, Indian cricketer Ambati Rayudu has decided to cut short his stint with the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2023 due to undisclosed personal reasons. Rayudu’s departure comes after just three innings in the tournament, where he managed to accumulate 47 runs at an average of 15.66 and a strike rate of 117.50. His scores in the three innings were 0, 32, and 15.
Rayudu’s presence in the CPL had generated considerable excitement as he was signed as a marquee player by the Patriots, making him the second Indian cricketer to feature in the men’s CPL after Pravin Tambe. This decision followed Rayudu’s retirement from international and Indian domestic cricket earlier in 2023, shortly after contributing to the Chennai Super Kings’ victory in the Indian Premier League, where they secured their fifth title.
Zimbabwean fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani has also left the CPL 2023 tournament for undisclosed personal reasons. Muzarabani participated in three matches for the Patriots, managing to pick up one wicket at an economy rate of 10.61.
To fill the void left by Rayudu and Muzarabani, the Patriots have enlisted the services of English duo Benny Howell, a fast bowler, and top-order batter Will Smeed. This tactical reshuffle comes as the Patriots continue to seek their first victory in the competition. Having faced six matches, the team remains the only one without a single win so far. After their opening two matches were abandoned due to inclement weather, the Patriots have suffered losses in their subsequent four games.
In another roster change, Carlos Brathwaite, the West Indies cricketer, has been named as the temporary replacement for wicketkeeper-batter Donovan Ferreira in the Barbados Royals team. Ferreira’s absence stems from his inclusion in South Africa’s 16-member squad for an upcoming home T20I series against Australia. It is expected that Ferreira will return to the Royals squad once his national duties are fulfilled.
Brathwaite, a well-known figure in the CPL, boasts an impressive record, having participated in 77 matches across four teams. He brings with him a wealth of experience, having scored 822 runs at an average of 16.11, in addition to claiming 59 wickets at an average of 30.15. This stint with the Barbados Royals marks his return to the CPL after his last appearance in the 2021 edition.
The CPL 2023 continues to witness unexpected twists and turns, as teams strive to secure their positions in the tournament’s standings.