At first I thought it was a misreport but then, Minister Lincoln Douglas denied it and confirmed it simultaneously last week: Three hundred and fourteen million dollars for the NCC!
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Solozano comes into the picture
After T&T’s third batting debacle in a row, it is very likely that prolific under-19 opener Jeremy Solozano could make the team for the semifinal of the regional first class series against Jamaica starting on May 4.
As the dust settled after T&T’s 140-run defeat at the hands of the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) on Thursday night at Kensington Oval, coach of the team Dave Williams, speaking to the T&T Guardian over breakfast, said: “I don’t think you can expect wholesale changes for the game against Jamaica.” Williams, who is part of the national team selection panel, along with his namesake Kelvin Williams, Alec Burns, Narine Bideshi, Roland Sampath and chairman Dudnath Ramkeesoon will meet next week to finalise the team for Jamaica.
He hinted though that young opener Jeremy Solozano may come into the picture. “Right now people may be calling for wholesale changes but we are in a situation where the entire team is failing with the bat. Are we going to drop the entire batting line-up? It would make no sense at this stage of the season—plus, at the moment the cupboard is bare. We are without many of our top players, so making wholesale changes is out of the question.
“There may be changes and I think there are a few guys in the local leagues who are making a case for themselves. There is young Jeremy Solozano who might come into the frame. We just need to freshen up the side a bit going into that semifinal against Jamaica.”
Asked if it was too soon to introduce Solozano to first class cricket, Williams said: “With just a game, possibly two to go for the rest of the regional season, he has nothing to lose. However, I am just part of the selection panel and they will sit and discuss all the options available to us going into that game.”
Players need to be away from cricket to re-focus
Meanwhile, manager of the team Omar Khan says the players need to re-focus and that is the biggest problem facing the team. “When you look at the T&T team and the CCC team, man for man the T&T boys are much superior but yet they lose by 140 runs. This tells me that it is all about focus and we need to get the players away from the cricket for a few days and get them re-focusing in the way they should.
“There are so many negative attractions out there that the players get caught up in and it makes it difficult for them to focus on the job at times. What we need to do is to take them out of that zone and allow them to sit and think through where they are going wrong with their cricket and start over the process. We need to have them in sessions without their phones, iPads and other distractions and talk and work out problems.
“I know that the coach will be working with them and advising them of their batting flaws but it is more than that, they need to...organise mentally when they go out there. There is no question as to how good this team can play. We have men in this outfit we are trying to get back into the West Indies team and in the case of the captain Denesh Ramdin, who is trying to continue his good play to stay on the West Indies team. This tells me the motivation is there but the thought process is lacking.”