Last year: Winners
The Caribbean Premier League is, to bastardise a famous quote, a tournament which six teams to compete over a month and then Trinbago win. This lot have won three of the last four. They boast the player of the series, Colin Munro and in Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine they have some of the Caribbean's most famous exports in the franchise game. But aren't this lot getting on a bit? Does it matter?
Trinbago have worked out that continuity is key in franchise cricket. Of the 2017 vintage, 12 returned last year. They have ten returning this time with Brendon McCullum moving up to the coaching position. We're not hugely enamoured with that. it's also worth noting that Fawad Ahmed, their top wicket-taker, has left. And we wonder whether they might be a top-order batter short with Chris Lynn, Colin Ingram and McCullum out.
Squad: Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Colin Munro (Lendl Simmons replaces him for firs three matches), Denesh Ramdin, Darren Bravo, Muhammad Hasnain, Khary Pierre, Jimmy Neesham, Seekkuge Prasanna, Amir Jangoo, Anderson Phillip, Mark Deyal, Tion Webster, Javon Searles, Akeal Hosein, Ali Khan
Possible XI: Ramdin, Narine, Munro, Darren Bravo, Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Neesham, Searles, Pierre, Seekkuge, Hasnain
Last year: Third
The Tallawahs have had a major overhaul after finishing fourth last term. They ditched 12 players, including David Miller, Ross Taylor and Johnson Charles. Is this the price for the return of Chris Gayle? Often we see franchises unbalanced when he is in the line-up.
Andre Russell could have his work cut out with bat and ball. He also has a job staying fit. Imad Wasim looks a big miss in the spin department while Glenn Phillips, the Kiwi keeper, might take up an overseas spot as the keeper if Chadwick Walton repeats his poor form from Warriors.
They look weak in the No 7 spot and need a clutch of young players to stake a claim instead of old stagers Xavier Marshall and Chris Lamont. Oshane Thomas and Rovman Powell are fantastic young players with ball and bat respectively.
Squad: Andre Russell, Chris Gayle, Chadwick Walton, Rovman Powell, Zahir Khan, Oshane Thomas, Glenn Phillips, George Worker, Amad Butt, Christopher Lamont, Shamar Springer, Ramaal Lewis, Steven Jacobs, Derval Green, Javelle Glen, Imran Khan, Xavier Marshall
Possible XI: Gayle, Phillips, Powell, Russell, Walton, Worker, Lamont/Springer, Butt, Zahir, Jacobs, Thomas
Last year: Sixth
Tridents finished bottom of the pile last term with two wins. They have lost Pollard to Trinbago and Nic Pooran to Guyana. Careless? Maybe it's part of a grand plan because they have retained Jason Holder and power hitters have arrived in the form of Alex Hales and Asif Ali. There is a big burden on Shai Hope, though, for runs because their batting look short of middle-order class.
The signing which really catches the eye is Nepalese spinner Sandeep Lamichhane. Underused by Delhi Daredevils he is charged with taking wickets, something Tridents struggled to do last term. He could form an excellent partnership with Imad Wasim.
Squad: Alex Hales, Jason Holder, Asif Ali, Wahab Riaz, Sandeep Lamichhane, Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Imad Wasim, Jonathan Carter, Chemar K Holder, Leniko Boucher, Roshon Primus, Raymon Reifer, Justin Greaves, Joshua Bishop, Hayden Walsh
Possible XI: Hales, Charles, Hope, Asif, Holder, Imad, Boucher, Wahab, CK Holder, Lamichhane, Reifer
Last year: Runners-up
Guyana have an extraordinary record. In six editions they have four times made the final – and won none of them. Their response to failure this time is to have an overhaul.
In comes Nic Pooran to give them ballast and blast. Brandon King will have to step up after switching from St Kitts. But they have lost Imran Tahir and Sohail Tanvir – worth 28 wickets between them. Cameron Delport and Luke Ronchi have been despatched. Jason Mohammed, Chadwick Walton and Rayad Emrit, in a funk after losing the captaincy, have left.
They have plumped for Pakistan all-rounder Shadab Khan – looking to lengthen batting – and Ben Laughlin, a pacer who has been excellent for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash. Shadab's legspin and decent hitting could be a masterstroke.
It means they have a tight squad well marshalled by Aussie Chris Green, who was handed the leadership mid-tournament last year. Green, no mug with the bat, is canny with the ball and alongside Shadab they should tie plenty of teams down on the sticky Providence wicket.
Squad: Shadab Khan, Nicolas Pooran, Shoaib Malik, Shimron Hetmyer, Ben Laughlin, Chris Green, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Brandon King, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Keagan Simmons, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Veerasammy Permaul, Anthony Bramble, Clinton Pestano, Saurabh Netravalkar
Possible XI: Hetmyer, Hemraj, Pooran, Shoaib, King, Paul, Shadab, Rutherford, Green, Permaul, Laughlin
Last year: Fifth
Runscoring could be a problem. The gaps left by Lendl Simmons, David Warner and Kieron Pollard, their top scorer last year, will be hard to fill. But they have made a decent fist of it.
There's quite a lot to like about a probable front four of Fletcher-Dickwella-Campbell-Delport. In the lower order they've gone for hitters like Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy.
Their bowling could be the most irritating in the tournament for batters. Fawad Ahmed, Krishmar Santokie and the excellent Kesrick Williams might be murder to get away. Beuran Hendricks and Lasith Malinga may alternate for maximum speed.
Squad:Lasith Malinga, Fawad Ahmed, Darren Sammy, Thisara Perera, Andre Fletcher, Kesrick Williams, John Campbell, Niroshan Dickwella, Obed McCoy, Rahkeem Cornwall, Roland Cato, Jeavor Royal, Andre McCarthy, Beuran Hendricks, Christopher Barnwell, Keddy Lesporis, Nitish Kumar
Possible XI: Fletcher, Dickwella, Campbell, Delport, McCarthy, Sammy, Perera, Cornwall, Santokie, Williams, Malinga
Last year: Fourth
The Patriots were poor with the bat last term and no team scored fewer runs. Have they rectified that? Well, out goes Gayle and in comes 2018 Blast top bat Laurie Evans. It's the sort of trade which suggests shrewdness. Mohammad Hafeez, however, is an uninspiring capture.
They are essentially reliant on players not underperforming. Step forward Rassie van der Dussen and Evin Lewis as chief culprits. Strike rates of 125 and 117 were not up to the mark while Lewis' return of 126 at 11 was a disaster.
There is a lot to like about young bucks Alzarri Joseph and Fabian Allen while Rayad Emrit is one for the top bowler markets. But Sheldon Cottrell is expensive and losing Sandeep Lamichhane suggests the opposite of the Evans signing given the dearth of spin. We can't see much optimism for improvement.
Sqaud: Alzarri Joseph, Fabian Allen, Evin Lewis, Carlos Brathwaite, Rassie van der Dussen, Laurie Evans, Sheldon Cottrell, Devon Thomas, Rayad Emrit, Shamarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Dominic Drakes, Afif Hossain, Keron Cottoy, Akeem Jordan, Usama Mir, Aaron Jones, Mohammad Hafeez, Jason Mohammed, Kjorn Otley, Isuru Udana
Possible XI: Lewis, Evans, Van der Dussen, Hafeez, Thomas, Mohammed, Brathwaite, Allen, Joseph, Emrit, Cottrell.