Monday, April 22, 2024

High hopes


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DESMOND HAYNES and Andy Roberts have achieved much success in cricket for the West Indies.
Now, they will look to do the same for their respective franchises when the Caribbean Premier League’s (CPL) T20 competition begins tonight at Kensington Oval.
Haynes, head coach of the Barbados Tridents, will be looking to create history when his team opposes Roberts’ St Lucia Zouks in the opening match at 8 p.m.
With an opportunity for the Tridents to become the first franchise to record victory in the inaugural CPL competition, Haynes said they were more than ready.
At a pre-match Press conference at the Crane Hotel, Haynes said his team was prepared for the task at hand.
“From day one of the camp, what we decided to do was to create a relaxed atmosphere, because [T20] cricket is pressure cricket,” the former West Indies opening batsman said.
“So, what we did during our practice sessions was to have a lot of match situations where we had guys batting in the first six overs, in the middle and at the death. So, our guys are ready.”
Haynes said despite the controversy surrounding the appointment of Keiron Pollard as captain, he expected the hard-hitting Trinidadian to play an important role in the team’s success.
“We are happy to have someone like Pollard as our captain because Pollard is a winner and you can see the results that he has brought to the Mumbai Indians along with Dwayne Smith.
“I believe that he is going to help us a lot in this tournament and all I am hoping for at this time is to ask the Barbadian public to come out and support us,” he said.
Smith said he believed the Tridents would give a good account of themselves, especially in front of the home fans.
“I am really up for it, and although I’ve only had two practice sessions with the guys, the team spirit among the group is very good.
“Once we take that into the game, I’m sure that we will come out on top,” he assured.
Roberts also spoke highly of his team, which will be led by West Indies captain Darren Sammy.
He said the squad was a well-balanced one capable of performing in any conditions.
“We have a mixture of youth and experience and I think that we have lot of variety to suit all conditions.
“The Zouks are coming out to play,” the former fast bowler promised.
Roberts said he hoped the pitch at Kensington was similar to the ones in St Lucia, where the ball “came on to the bat”.
He noted that the presence of Sammy was a huge boost for the team.
“Sammy brings leadership experience to the fore. One of the good things with the Zouks is that Sammy has played with the vast majority of the players over a number of years, so they are accustomed to each other,” Roberts pointed out.
Herschelle Gibbs, who is highly regarded as a T20 specialist, predicted an exciting opening encounter.
The South African said that with six evenly matched franchises, each team would have to be at their best if they hoped to achieve success.
“Hopefully tomorrow [today], we can start out the competition on the right note and get a win.
“Everybody is ready and raring to go, and all that is left is to go out there and play some good cricket.”
The opening ceremony gets under way at 5 p.m.Barbados Tridents – Kieron Pollard (captain), Shoaib Malik, Dwayne Smith, Shakib Al Hasan, Umar Akmal, Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel, Rayad Emrit, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Kyle Mayers, Devendra Bishoo, Kirk Edwards, Raymon Reifer. Coach: Desmond Haynes. assistant coach: Robin Singh.St Lucia Zouks – Darren Sammy (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Albie Morkel, Tino Best, Tamim Iqbal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Andre Fletcher, Garey Mathurin, Liam Sebastien, Dalton Polius, Kavem Hodge, Kenroy Peters, Nelon Pascal. Coach: Andy Roberts. assistant coach: Matthew Maynard.


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