CPL 2018: Andre Russell appointed Jamaica Tallawahs captain
Andre Russell, the quintessential global Twenty20 star, continues his upward trajectory in franchise cricket as he gets his first full-time leadership assignment in the form of captaining his side Jamaica Tallahwas in the upcoming season of the Caribbean Premier League.
He will take the charge over from Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, who was appointed the captain last year as Russell missed the whole season in keeping with his one-year ban for doping violations.
Russell banished any doubts of him being rusty after a whole year of no competitive cricket or inhibited by his recurring hamstring issues, as he was one of the top performers for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the eleventh season of the Indian Premier League. He scored 316 runs from 14 innings at a strike rate of 184 and sent the ball sailing over the ropes an astonishing 31 times. To top that, he took 13 wickets as he assumed the makeshift role of being the front-line seamer in absence of Mitchell Starc.
"It's a good feeling, honestly, I missed out last year due to one-year suspension. I'm looking forward to it," Russell said. "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."
Not just chuffed about leading the side, Russell is pretty excited to play along a bunch of other overseas T20 specialists, especially the likes of Shahid Afridi, David Miller, Ross Taylor 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. 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 will make for interesting captaincy candidate and it will be curiously noted how he uses his own services in the line-up, whether he will slot himself up higher in the order owing to new theories of having the best batsmen in the side play for as long as possible in the innings. He indeed is one of the best batsmen in the side rather than just being a lower order hitter, he holds the record for the fastest CPL hundred, coming off in just 42 deliveries.