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India's U19 World Cup winner Smit Kamleshbhai Patel all set to make his CPL debut

Smit Kamleshbhai Patel

There is no hiding from the fact that cricket has well and truly evolved to a great level. It is the second-most-watched sport in the world. It doesn't necessarily matter when you don't represent your national team but you still have other opportunities to showcase your mettle. 

Earlier, some players, even the deserving ones, didn't get a chance to represent the national team. However, with the sport evolving across various parts of the world, there are other domestic franchise tournaments that provide a platform for players to come through their ranks and shine at the highest level. 

Meanwhile, in the latest development, former India U-19 wicketkeeper-batsman Smit Kamleshbhai Patel has apparently retired from Indian cricket by signing up for Barbados Tridents. He is all set to make a mark in the West Indies' franchise cricket, Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021. 

Smit Patel to make a debut in CPL 2021

It is to be noted that the 28-year-old cricketer is the second Indian to earn a CPL contract after Pravin Tambe. He has a pretty good experience of playing Indian domestic cricket. He started his domestic career with Gujarat before shifting to Tripura and Baroda. 

He was also part of the 2020/21 season, where he plied his trade for Baroda. It is worth mentioning here that he was the star performer of the 2012 U-19 World Cup final victory over Australia. The right-handed batsman scored an unbeaten 62 off 84 in the run-chase of 226.

More importantly, he constructed a match-winning partnership of 130 runs for the 5th wicket with captain Unmukt Chand (111* off 130). According to BCCI's rules, an Indian player cannot feature in an overseas league until he retires from domestic cricket and IPL. 

This means that Smit has already retired from Indian cricket. The rule saw the board disallowing Pravin Tambe to play IPL 2020 as he had played a T10 league. Tambe would become the first Indian player to feature in CPL after being roped in by Trinbago Knight Riders. 

Smit who played 55 first-class, 43 List A and 28 T20 matches has never played IPL. However, he got a chance to represent Board President's XI against West Indies in a practice match in 2018.

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