Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Red Force ready for Brisbane Heat
T&T Red Force will open their campaign for honours in this year’s Karbonn Smart T20 tournament this morning, when they come up against Australia’s Brisbane Heat in Ranchi, India. The Red Force preparation has not been ideal since arriving in India and yesterday it was no different as rain washed out their planned warm-up clash against the Perth Scorchers at the Ranchi Oval ground, adjoining the main stadium. However, when allrounder Rayad Emrit faced the press in the evening, he said that although the rain had played a factor leading up to the tournament, he saw no big problems with it. “The rain has been a factor here in India, since our arrival and we have indoors for quite a bit. We had one day at the Indoor Centre and on Friday we got a good workout on the outside. Apart from this, we have been kept quiet. “However, this is not big problem for us because this team was well-prepared even before we arrived in India. We had a good build up in the Caribbean and here is just about fine-tuning roles and getting things moving.”
Looking ahead to the match, Emrit said this team was here to have fun and play good cricket at the same time. “We are going to have fun at this tournament because when we enjoy ourselves, we play our best cricket. The boys know what to expect in tournaments like this and with seven of our players having experience in these conditions, we are at home here. “We are going to take it one game at a time and tomorrow we start against the Brisbane Heat looking to fashion a win and get off the mark.” With Indian superstar Mahendra Singh Dhoni living in Ranchi, the journalists here asked the obvious of Emrit, whether the T&T team was afraid of the master player. His response: “We know that there are a number of star-studded teams in this tournament, after all it is a Champions League but we are not going to be put off by that. Hopefully when we play Chennai we will dismiss him (Dhoni) cheaply but for the moment this team is not afraid of any player. “We have worked hard and prepared well and we are under no pressure going into this tournament. This is our clast Champions League and the boys are going to make it special.” Looking at the condition of the Ranchi pitch, the pacer was happy.
“We looked at the pitch it had a lot of grass and the groundsman told us that he is not going to remove it. This pitch looks like some in the Caribbean and that would play right in our hands.”
With a green top expected, top pacer Ravi Rampaul will be needed and Emrit reported that he was fit again after his ankle injury and slight groin strain. “Ravi bowled in the nets yesterday and he is fit again and raring to go. All in all the boys have done what is in their control and now we have to go out there and execute in the opening match.” The fans here in Ranchi are very excited about the game. When T&T Guardian hit the streets the fans who spoke English were all saying that they were behind T&T. They were mentioning the names of Brian Lara, Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard. Special mention was made of Sunil Narine who is a “hometown” boy here, as he is on the Kolkata Knight Riders roster for the Indian Premier League (IPL). Narine played two matches at Ranchi against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors. His knowledge of the venue will be of critical importance. Also expected to share their knowledge of the pitch is fast bowler Rampaul, who played one match here during the IPL, earlier this year.
The Brisbane Heat has a number of experienced players in their ranks and they are expected to adjust quickly to Indian conditions. Coming into this tournament the Australian Big Bash Champions were dealt a blow with the fact that some of their top men were not making the trip. Headlining that list is their leading run scorer from last summer Luke Pomersbach, who is unavailable for family reasons and the squad will also have to do without Shane Watson, who will be playing for Rajasthan Royals; Mitchell Johnson, who is with Mumbai Indians; Thisara Perera, who is with Sunrisers Hyderabad; and the injured Ryan Harris. It leaves them short on big names, although any attack boasting Kemar Roach must still be respected, while Alister McDermott, Ben Cutting and Nathan Hauritz will back him up with a combination of youthful talent and experience. The captain, James Hopes, has plenty of international experience on which to draw as well.
Play gets under way at 5.30 am (T&T time).
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