Monday, April 22, 2024

Fighting spirit

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Lauding the disposition of young Barbadian cricketers, Barbados’ director of coaching Hendy Springer said their determination to defy the odds was the deciding factor in the team’s capture of their 21st regional first-class cricket title.
Barbados completed an innings and 22-run victory over Trinidad and Tobago in a one-sided Regional 4-day Championship final at Kensington Oval yesterday in two and a half days of the scheduled four-day title match to become kings of regional cricket again.
“It feels great after you have completed a season to win a trophy after the kind of start we had to the season, and still look around and see some of the young players improve, which is the definition of success for me,” said Springer, who took up the head coach job again this year after Vasbert Drakes and Emmerson Trotman were rotated in the position for the past five seasons.
“We had guys [who] were willing to fight, willing to prove their worth and that was important. Players have come with higher skill levels than the ones we had this season, but the fight that they showed day in, day out was what made the difference.”
Off-spinner Ashley Nurse captured 45 wickets in his maiden first-class season while rookie fast bowler Miguel Cummins, who had only played one match last year, ended with 35 scalps, the most by a pace bowler in the competition.
Opener Kraigg Brathwaite, 20 years old, was the team’s leading batsman with 577 runs. 
“This team is different to others that I have coached over the years since it does not include a number of players that have represented West Indies at the higher levels,” Springer said.
“When I first started coaching Barbados back in December 2000, we had players like Roland Holder, Philo Wallace, Sherwin Campbell, Hendy Bryan, Adrian Griffith, Floyd Reifer, to name a few – a number of players [who] had represented West Indies and it was much different then.
“This season, we only had one or two players consistently, so we had more first-class players than West Indies players, and it was good to see those players come to the fore as well.”
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago’s captain Denesh Ramdin blamed the team’s batting for their defeat after they were skittled out for a paltry 110 in the first innings and only reached a second innings total of 237 due to an electrifying knock of 140 from opener Lendl Simmons.
“We never got that balance right in our batting department.
“We were always struggling to put 200 runs on the board and our bowlers have done it throughout the season for us. This is one of the few times we have gotten over 220 runs for the season. It is something we have to think about and we have to go back to the drawing board,” he said.
“The top five or six batters need to come to the party. They didn’t come consistently as we wanted them to in this tournament.
“Well played to Lendl Simmons for getting a hundred this game, but having to come from 260 behind was a hard task to overcome.”

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