Coach of the T&T cricket team David Williams says the focus is to get into the main draw of the Champions League T20 series and his side is full of confidence going into the games.
Williams made the comments yesterday, during his team’s press conference in Johannesburg. Between tomorrow and Thursday, six teams will play six matches at two different venues on South Africa’s Highveld. At the end, the top two teams will play in the Champions League T20.
T&T will start its campaign against Yorkshire at Centurion tomorrow and follow up against Sri Lanka’s Uva Next at Johannesburg. They need to win both matches to ensure qualification to the main T&T arrived in South Africa on Saturday under a cloud of controversy, with some players threatening to withhold their services because of a money dispute with the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB), but Williams steered clear of this.
“We’re not aware of anything, as far as we are concerned, we’re all in South Africa,” he said.
Five players from the victorious West Indies team, which won the T20 World Cup yesterday, are excpected in Sri Lanka today. They are skipper Denesh Ramdin, Samuel Badree, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul and Darren Bravo.
The players are seeking an increased pay package after learning that the T&TCB has received US$450,000 in transfer fees for IPL players Sunil Narine, Keiron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who will not play for this country in South Africa.
Quizzed as to the possibility of the players striking while in South Africa, executive member of the TTCB, Patrick Rampersad said:”We have a very cordial relationship with WIPA and I know that they are also looking at the bigger picture and the nation’s reputation. I am confident no such thing would happen.”
Meanwhile, Williams said yesterday preparations were going well. “We’re in good stead, we’ve played a lot of T20 cricket in the lead up to this and the boys are ready.
“Our players are very professional and they have been working hard. More importantly they all know their roles and this is key in us putting it together.”