Malinga among several changes as CPL nears
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (CMC):
Sri Lanka bowling star Lasith Malinga has been ruled out of this year's Caribbean Premier League campaign through injury and has been replaced by South African seamer Marchant de Lange.
Malinga was expected to be a key part of the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the June 20 to July 26 tournament which will be played across six Caribbean territories.
He was one of several player changes confirmed by organisers on Tuesday, with Sri Lankan Jeevan Mendis named to replace Justin Ontong in the Barbados Tridents squad.
Wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich, who recently made his Test debut, has also been called up to replace the injured Nicholas Pooran in the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots squad.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been called up for international duty and will be replaced in the St Lucia Zouks squad first by South African leg-spinner Eddie Leie, and then New Zealander Nathan McCullum.
"The quality of these replacements demonstrates the strong attraction of playing in the CPL," CPL Director of Cricket Tom Moody, said.
"Injuries and international call ups are part and parcel of the modern game, but as the competition draws closer, we are confident these five new replacements will enter the competition with a hunger to impress the Caribbean fans."
This year, defending champions Barbados Tridents will raise the curtain on the tournament when they face last year's losing finalists, Guyana Amazon Warriors, in a repeat of last year's rain-hit final in St Kitts.
Six teams - Tridents, Amazon Warriors, St Lucia Zouks, Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Jamaica Tallawahs and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots - will contest 33 preliminary games as they vie for a place in the semi-finals scheduled for July 23 and 25 in Trinidad.
The final will be staged on July 26.