Of the 11 West Indians that beat Sri Lanka on the night of October 7, 2012 in Colombo to clinch the ICC World Twenty20, nine have IPL contracts for the upcoming sixth season of the lucrative league. Considering that Twenty20 is the one format where West Indies have achieved success over the past few years, the success of the men from the Caribbean at last year's extravaganza in Sri Lanka hints at further accomplishments in IPL 6.
Casting an eye down the playing XI from that starry Colombo night, here's where the nine West Indians from the World Twenty20 final will be during IPL 6: Chris Gayle (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Marlon Samuels (Pune Warriors), Dwayne Bravo (Chennai Super Kings), Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians), Andre Russell (Delhi Daredevils), Darren Sammy (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Sunil Narine (Kolkata Knight Riders), Ravi Rampaul (RCB) and Samuel Badree (Rajasthan Royals).
Gayle's IPL CV doesn't need reiterating, while Bravo and Pollard have been key members of their respective IPL franchises (both played at one time together for Mumbai). Samuels joined the IPL ahead of the fifth season when Pune bought him for two years. Russell was signed by Delhi for $450,000 at the 2012 auction, and Narine was a huge factor in Kolkata's run to the title in IPL 5 with 25 wickets an average of 13.50 and economy rate of 5.47.
Sammy ($425,000) and Rampaul ($290,000) were bought this year at the IPL auction having previously not been part of any IPL franchise, while Badree signed with Rajasthan before the big spending day in Chennai.
Each of these nine players offers multi-faceted skills to their respective IPL franchises. Gayle, Narine, Samuels and Pollard are first-choice picks, while CSK will find it tough to tick Bravo off their team sheet. Russell has done nothing of note in four matches for Delhi (a solitary wicket at whopping average of 161) while Badree may not be an automatic pick considering the overseas player cap; Brad Hogg and Kevon Cooper could play ahead of him. Sammy, though he ended up being Sunrisers' second-biggest purchase at the 2013 IPL auction, could find himself coming in second to another allrounder, Sri Lankan Thisara Perera who went for $675,000. Sunrisers will surely pencil in Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White and Dale Steyn as their first three overseas players in the final XI, leaving Sammy and Perera in a shootout for the final spot.
Time will tell how the West Indians fare in IPL 6, but one thing is for certain: whenever these players are on the field, plenty of eyeballs will be on them.
West Indies' record for IPL teams:
Chris Gayle - M 49, I 48 Runs 2061, HS 128*, Avg 42.94, W 13, Avg 53.77, BB 3/21
Marlon Samuels - M 8, I 8, Runs 124, HS 46, Avg 17.71, W 8, Avg 27, BB 3/39
Darren Bravo - M 62, I 48, Runs 984, HS 70*, Avg 20.50, W 56, Avg 27.46, BB 3/24
Kieron Pollard - M 58, I 52, Runs 972, HS 72*, Avg 22.60, W 44, Avg 25.86, BB 4/44
Andre Russell - M 4, I 2, Runs 47, HS 31, Avg 23.50, W 1, Avg 161, BB 1/51
Sunil Narine - M 19, W 30, Avg 12.86, BB 5/19
Do you think these nine West Indians will set the IPL on fire?