Anyone who read my column printed last Ash Wednesday knows of my contempt for Carnival. I’m sorry to say that my attitude towards it hasn’t gotten any better.
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Patience key as T&T battles Windwards
T&T manager Manohar Ramsaran says that patience has to play a key role if this country is to come away triumphant in their opening match of the Regional Four-Day tournament against the Windwards Islands, starting this morning at 10am at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain.
The local players will open their account in the tournament today after being on a bye for the first round. While T&T was inactive, the Windwards were busy dishing out licks to Barbados in their opening game in St. Kitts. The Islanders come into this game with their tails up, as they totally dominated the Barbadians who were recently crowned Nagico Super50 champions.
Yesterday, the T&T had a good work out at the Oval, while the Windwards took in a session at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva. Speaking to the media, Ramsaran said his players were fit and ready to go. “They have been playing a lot of cricket but now with this tournament about to get off, they are very excited and keen to do well. First Class cricket still remains a big deal for the players and they are keen to impress.
“We will be coming up against a Windwards team that has done well against us in the past and I can tell you that over the next four days, the cricket will be tough. We have a young team because most of our senior players are missing due to West Indies commitments or injury, and I am sure they will all contribute to fill the breach and come out with a good result.”
Ramsaran said the key to success will be patience. “Our players have been coming out of a diet of limited overs cricket both regionally and on the domestic scene and now they have to transform into four-day cricket. Patience is the key here, the batsmen have to occupy the crease for long periods and the bowlers have to be disciplined and continue to bowl and consistent line and length and wait for their results. I see patience as a key to us winning this game.”
The former Minister of Sports added that batsmen Darren Bravo, Adrian Barath and Evin Lewis have to come good and lead the others. “We have about three or four senior batsmen up front and they need to lead the others. They have to take charge, so that the others can come in, feel comfortable and continue the good work.”
He also had a lot of faith in stand in captain Rayad Emrit. “Emrit has been around for quite a while and although he is a substitute captain, as Denesh Ramdin is not available, he commands control of the players and this is important. He has a sound knowledge of the game and has been in good form with bat and ball, so he can lead from the front.”
In the other matches, Jamaica, with whom the Windwards share the lead on the points table, will be looking to continue their dominance over Leeward Islands, the other first round winning side – and mark the occasion of the first ever floodlit, first-class match at Warner Park in St. Kitts with their fourth straight victory there.
Guyana and Barbados, two of the beaten sides from the first round, will renew their long-standing rivalry in the other match of the round at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana.
A victory for the Guyanese would be a piece of history. They have not beaten the Barbadians on home soil for three decades – during which period they have collected three wins in their opponents’ backyard.
T&T: Rayad Emrit (captain), Evin Lewis, Adrian Barath, Daren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Jonathan Augustus, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Marlon Richards, Akeil Hosein, Shannon Gabriel, Kavesh Kantasingh, Yannic Cariah, Manager: Manohar Ramsaran Coach: Kelvin Williams.
Windwards: Liam Sebastien (captain), Andre Fletcher (vice captain), Alston Bobb, Johnson Charles, Lindon James, Delorn Johnson, Keddy Lesporis, Mervin Matthew, Nelon Pascal, Kenroy Peters, Dalton Polius, Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile.