WEST Indies bowlers Dominic Drakes, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul and Sheldon Cottrell, as per recent reports, are all set to join the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League as net bowlers. There is, however, no certainty yet about which teams these players are likely to join, as an official confirmation from any authority remains awaited.
Thirty six year-old Rampaul, who recently returned to the international fold after being named in West Indies’ 15-member T20 World Cup squad, is currently the joint-leading wicket-taker in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League, with 18 wickets at 14 and an economy of 7.26 in nine games for Trinbago Knight Riders.
Rampaul has previously been with the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the 2013-14 seasons and has 14 wickets at 21.29 in 12 IPL games.
Edwards, 39, who made his West Indies return after a nine-year hiatus during a three-match home T20I series against Sri Lanka in March this year, is also active in the 2021 CPL currently, where, in four matches for Jamaica Tallawahs, he has picked up three wickets. Edwards’ stints in the IPL have been for the now-defunct Deccan Chargers during the 2009 season before Rajasthan Royals in 2013. In six IPL games, he has five wickets.
Meanwhile, Drakes and Cottrell, both plying their trade for St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots currently, have been in decent nick too. Drakes, with 13 wickets at an economy of 8.14 in nine games is joint third-highest in the wicket-taking tally, while Cottrell, who has also been named as a travelling reserve in West Indies T20 World Cup squad, has bagged six wickets at an economy of 7.65 in as many CPL games this year.
23-year-old Drakes has never been a part of the Indian Premier League previously, while Cottrell’s maiden and only stint came for the Punjab Kings in the 2020 season, where he managed six wickets in as many games before being released by the franchise ahead of 2021 auctions.
As for the 2021 edition, the league stage of the tournament resumes with a blockbuster Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings clash on September 19. The 14th edition of the league was marred by Covid-19 and had to be abruptly postponed in May this year. The 31 unfinished games will now be played in the UAE across three venues until October 15.