Caribbean Premier League Betting: Team-by-team guide

McCullum has departed Middlesex for the CPL
McCullum has departed Middlesex for the CPL

Ed Hawkins analyses the six teams bidding for glory in the West Indies and picks out a team to follow who could be considered value once the competition captures the imagination...

"This is a young tournament which demands respect. It is certainly push hard on the heels of the Big Bash as the second most attractive event of the year for the T20 backpacker"

The Caribbean Premier League starts on Wednesday. And the stars have come out play. We're at a loss to understand what has attracted AB De Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Hashim Amla, Kumar Sangakkara and Matin Guptill.

But it could have something to do with highly-competitive franchise cricket in a beautiful part of the world. And a big fat pay check for a few weeks' work.

Punters may be reluctant to tie up their cash until August 7 - and so far liquidity is low - but this is a young tournament which demands respect. It is certainly push hard on the heels of the Big Bash as the second most attractive event of the year for the T20 backpacker.

There are only six teams and the top four progress to the play-offs, which work in the same way as the IPL (the points table winner will get two bites at qualification for the final).

So can it be that hard to find a winner? Let's hope not. There appears to be one standout bet as you will see from the squad lists and analysis below.

Barbados Tridents 4.57/2
Last season: runners-up

Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), AB de Villiers, Shoaib Malik, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul, David Wiese, Robin Peterson, Raymon Reifer, Ashley Nurse, Wayne Parnell, Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Kyle Hope, Navin Stewart, Kyle Corbin, Steven Taylor, Shamar Springer.

Analysis: Barbados have lost the runs of Dwayne Smith but considering AB De Villiers has signed that might not matter. Pollard has been in terrific touch for the Windies, David Wiese is a, er, wise capture. Jason Holder is available until July 11, when West Indies begin a Test series against India. Robin Peterson was a key wicket-taker last term. They could go one better this year but their price is nothing to get excited about.

Trinbago Knight Riders 4.216/5
Last season: Winners

Squad: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine, Hashim Amla, Umar Akmal, Kevon Cooper, Sulieman Benn, Colin Munro, Anton Devcich, Ronsford Beaton, Nikita Miller, Javon Searles, William Perkins, Yannick Cariah, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Hamza Tariq, Anderson Phillip

Analysis: This lot were called Red Steel last year if the name-change is causing a confusion. They have all bases covered as one might expect although, again, Test performers like Darren Bravo will not be available for the whole shebang. Narine and Benn are extremely dangerous. We're not sure Colin Munro will be a great asset on sluggish tracks. And they're plenty short enough.

St Lucia Zouks 5.04/1
Last season: Fifth

Squad: Darren Sammy (captain), David Miller, Shane Watson, Michael Hussey, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Morne Morkel, Denesh Ramdin (to be replaced by Miguel Cummins after 11 July), Derone Davis, Grant Elliott, Kristopher Ramsaran, Shane Shillingford, Delorn Johnson, Kyle Mayers, Keddy Lesporis, Nitish Kumar, Gidron Pope

Analysis: This lot look as if they're out for one last pay day. Grant Elliott, Shane Watson and Michael Hussey are all getting on a bit. Their talent and commitment has never been in doubt but more energetic outfits could outstrip them. We shouldn't underestimate the leadership of Darren Sammy - a World Cup winner no less - but they look mighty short on bowlers. One to oppose when defending methinks.

Jamaica Tallawahs 5.04/1
Last season: semi-final

Squad: Chris Gayle (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Imad Wasim, Dale Steyn, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Andre McCarthy, Jonathan Foo, Alex Ross, Kesrick Williams, Nkrumah Bonner, Garey Mathurin, Timroy Allen, O'shane Thomas

Analysis: Jamaica remain the only franchise to have won a domestic tournament with Chris Gayle. They have spent big on Kumar Sangakkara, Shakib Al Hasan and Dale Steyn while Andre Russell is one of the most powerful all-rounders in the world. But just like every other franchise that has signed Gayle they have become obsessed with superstar hitters. And forgot to sign any bowlers. A major problem when your two best wicket-takers - Krishmar Santokie and Jerome Taylor - have left. No value here.

St Kitts & Nevis Patriots 7.06/1
Last season: Bottom of group

Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Lendl Simmons, Samuel Badree, Carlos Brathwaite, Brad Hodge, Thisara Perera, Jonathan Carter, Krishmar Santokie, Evin Lewis, Tabraiz Shamsi, Kieran Powell, JJ Smuts, Devon Thomas, Shamarh Brooks, Tino Best, Jeremiah Louis, Nikhil Dutta, Alzarri Joseph

Analysis: The Patriots are starting from scratch almost after last year's disappointment and have had a big turnover of players. Guptill, Afridi, Tanvir and Samuels, among others, are out. Players of note that have come in are Faf Du Plessis, Lendl Simmons, Brad Hodge, Santokie and Samuel Badree. That's cracking business. Evin Lewis and Kieran Powell are great prospects, too. They could spring a surprise and of all the franchises this bunch scream value when the money arrives into the market. They will lose Carlos Braithwaite halfway through, however.

Guyana Amazon Warriors 7.06/1
Last season: semi-final

Squad: Martin Guptill (captain), Sohail Tanvir, Dwayne Smith, Chris Lynn, Devendra Bishoo, Rayad Emrit, Adam Zampa, Jason Mohammed, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Orlando Peters, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble, Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs, Steven Katwaroo, Ali Khan, Shimron Hetmyer

Analysis: Martin Guptill leads but he is unlikely to be there for the business end of the tournament with New Zealand in Zimbabwe from July 22. With Bishoo missing a chunk with the Windies those are two rather big holes to fill. They will be a major threat with decent spin options on their tacky home surface but they could come unstuck later. Still, they have great nous as final appearances in 2013 and 2014 testify.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2016: +91.02
2015: +£380.50
2014: +315.10
2013: +250.80
To £10 level stakes (unless otherwise stated), based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate.
*Follow Ed on Twitter @cricketbetting

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