Andre Russell to lead Jamaica Tallawahs in CPL 2018

The West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell has been named the captain of Jamaica Tallawahs for the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League, starting August 8. Russell, who was in terrific form during the recently concluded 11th edition of the Indian Premier League for the Kolkata Knight Riders, had missed the previous edition of the CPL because of a 12-month ban that had been imposed on him due to a doping violation.

“It’s a good feeling, honestly, I missed out last year due to one-year suspension. I’m looking forward to it, 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 said.

The 30-year-old smashed 316 runs in 2018 IPL, scoring those at a terrific strike-rate of 185 and at a healthy average of 28.7. With the ball, he picked up 13 wickets as well, emerging as one of the most valuable players of the tournament. In CPL too, he has set himself a few personal goals and is looking forward to carry his IPL form into the tournament. “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. 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.”

The all-rounder mentioned how CPL means as much to West Indies as IPL does to the world. “[CPL] is very important. I think just like how passionate the guys in India are, just coming from IPL, and seeing how passionate these guys are about getting to the top four, winning the cup and looking forward to every practice session and everything. It means a lot to the local guys and I think that’s what it’s supposed to mean to us as well, because once you’re in your home town I think that’s where you want to be and it’s just going to make you express yourself a lot more.”

Tallawahs have won the competition two times in the past and will look to put their best foot forward this time as well, especially with the likes of Shahid Afridi, David Miller, Ross Taylor, Samuel Badree in the tank. “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 noted. “I truly believe in all- rounders 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 is also excited about leading Afridi in the tournament with who he’s spent a lot of time at the Pakistan Super League. “It’s going to be interesting, I’ve played against Shahid before, he’s a good guy. Even in Dubai after we played, we go out on a boat together, just enjoy each other’s company,” Russel revealed. “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.”

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