Image courtesy of: CPL T20 Ltd
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has been appointed as the Jamiaca Tallawahs’ captain for the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which begins on August 8.
Russell, who missed last year’s CPL due to a doping violation that led to him being banned for a year, will succeed Kumar Sangakkara as captain.
Under Sangakkara’s leadership, the franchise were knocked out of the tournament in the eliminator when they lost to the Guyana Amazon Warriors by five wickets.
“It’s a good feeling, honestly, I missed out last year due to one-year suspension. I’m looking forward to it,” Russell was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Not just looking forward to play but looking forward to being the captain for the Jamaica Tallawahs, as well and looking forward to doing a good job.”
Russell is confident of having a successful season since the Tallawahs have a number of high-profile players in their squad, including New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, South Africa batsman David Miller and the Pakistan duo of Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik.
“We have a very good, balanced team. We have a team that is not just about the names, it’s all about what they can do as well and how quickly they can change the game,” Russell said. “I truly believe in allrounders in T20 cricket and I think that’s what we have. I think we have guys that can bat and bowl and once you have eight guys in a team that can do that, I think you have a good team on paper.”
Russell admitted that captaining a player of Afridi’s calibre will be “interesting” since he has a great deal of leadership under his belt as he used to be Pakistan’s skipper.
“It’s going to be interesting, I’ve played against Shahid before, he’s a good guy. Even in Dubai after we played, we went out on a boat together, we just enjoy each other’s company,” Russell said. “To be around a guy like Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Ahmed Shehzad and all these guys, it just show a different type of how they live, and how simple they are apart from the game.
“But, it’s good to have [Afridi] in the CPL this year and not just playing against him, playing with him as well, because I hope I can learn a few things and take it along with me.”
Russell admitted that he has a few goals he wants to achieve during the tournament, but refused to divulge them.
“I always set personal goals but I don’t let it out loud because I don’t want to say I want 20 wickets, 30 wickets and I only get 10,” he said. “It’s always good to have your personal goals but I don’t like to say it out loud. Every player want to get wickets, take a lot of catches, score runs, but I have my personal goals and I just hope I can achieve them.”