“Hopefully, next year, we can cross the line.”

Inheriting these words from Kyle Mayers, new skipper Rovman Powell leads Barbados Royals on a new conquest for CPL glory with a trip to St Lucia Kings in their 2023 Caribbean Premier League opener on Thursday, August 17.

The Royals fell inches short of ending a two-year wait for title number 3 last year, but the latest edition of the T20 extravaganza brings a renewed sense of hope for the Barbados-based franchise. The presence of multiple match-winning all-rounders - Rovman Powell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Roelof van der Merwe, quality spin engines - van der Merwe and Qais Ahmad - and death over specialists - Powell, Akeem Jordan and Obed McCoy - assemble to form a contingent that could well turn out to be a title challenger.

As far as their tryst with St Lucia Kings goes, the Royals have the upper hand in the head-to-head record with 13 wins and seven defeats in 20 meetings since 2013. Furthermore, Powell and his men head into the curtain raiser of our 2023 campaign with a three-game winning run - including wins in both H2H clashes in CPL 2022.

Match Details

CPL 2023, Match 2: St Lucia Kings vs Barbados Royals

Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia

August 17, 7:00 PM local time, 4:30 AM IST (August 18)

What to expect

Impeccable pace from the likes of McCoy, Akeem Jordan and Rovman Powell that are poised to unsettle St Lucia Kings’ batting, a batting unit headlined by Kyle Mayers and newcomer Alick Athanaze serenading the hosts’ home with showers of runs and lastly, a WIN.

Venue check

Barbados Royals have an outstanding record at Gros Islet, where they have won 7 out of the 9 matches so far.

By the numbers, 22 teams have emerged victorious by fielding first; thus, the toss-winning captain could follow suit. The middle overs - 7 to 15 - arguably dictate the tide of a CPL fixture at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium. This period has seen teams register an average of 65.1 runs, and when bowling, an average of 2.5 wickets have fallen. The venue is a happy hunting ground for pacers, who have accounted for 4 wickets per innings in contrast to the 1.7 wickets/inning rate maintained by spinners.

Royal to watch

Rovman Powell is the man of the moment, having recently engineered the West Indies to a historic T20I series triumph over India.. With 3056 runs and 26 wickets under his belt in T20 cricket, Powell has the toolset to orchestrate a win as a player or a captain, and the Royals fans can rest assured that their new skipper will live up to the promise this season.

Milestone corner

  • Kyle Mayers and Jason Holder require 49 runs each to reach 1,000 in their respective CPL careers
  • Qais Ahmad needs one more wicket to complete 150 T20 wickets overall. He will be the fifth bowler from Afghanistan to reach this milestone

Full squads

Barbados Royals: Rovman Powell (captain), Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, Maheesh Theekshana (to be replaced by Qais Ahmad during Asia Cup), Laurie Evans, Alick Athanaze, Obed McCoy, Kevin Wickham, Roelof van der Merwe, Akeem Jordan, Rahkeem Cornwall, Donovan Ferreira, Justin Greaves, Joshua Bishop, Nyeem Young, Rivaldo Clarke, Ramon Simmonds

St Lucia Kings: Faf du Plessis, Johnson Charles, Sean Williams, Alzarri Joseph, Roston Chase, Jair McAllister, Sikandar Raza, Peter Hatzoglou, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (temporary replacement: Chris Sole, first five group games), Roshon Primus, Jeavor Royal, Sadrack Descarte, Khary Pierre, Leonardo Julien, Matthew Forde, Kimani Melius, McKenny Clarke