Don’t disadvantage the poor and middle class.
That was the Opposition’s appeal to Government yesterday on the eve of today’s 2017 budget delivery.
If the Headley/Weekes Regional Four-day semi-final clash between T&T and the Windwards which starts today at the Queen's Park Oval in Port-of-Spain, ends in a draw, the home team would advance to the finals, based on their higher place finish in the league. So the Windwards have all to play for and the weather forecast over the next four days is not promising. T&T finished second in the league phase and the Windwards third. Barbados won the league title and they will play fourth-placed Jamaica in Barbados also starting today. When players from both teams showed up for training yesterday, they were affected by the inclement weather and the forecast is for a possible thunderstorm today and Tuesday. Tomorrow and Monday showers are expected, which means the Windwards would have eyes fixed on the heavens.
T&T defeated the Islanders in the league phase and will start as favourites in this match. They have not won the Regional First Class title in eight years and came to within a whisper of winning the league title this year. T&T skipper Denesh Ramdin playing his first game said: “Looking ahead to the clash against the Windwards, the guys have been playing good cricket so far this season and there is still one title up for grabs and we will need to put on a good performance to get past the Windwards. “They (the Windwards) are a consistent team and very patient in terms of waiting for you to make a mistake so hopefully our top four guys can get some runs. “Darren Bravo has been batting well. Jason Mohammed scored a double century and Akeal Hosein scored his first century this year and he is back in the team. Lewis has been doing well at the top of the order and Lendl Simmons and myself will bring some experience so hopefully we can go out there and give a good showing this weekend,” the T&T skipper said.
Manager of the team Manohar Ramsaran thinks that they will put that straight over the next two weeks. “The boys have played good cricket this season and were unlucky to miss out on the league title. They are confident going into this semifinal and I am sure they will be making a huge effort to get into the finals and take it from there,” he said. “Obviously getting into the finals is the goal right now, so the focus is on the Windwards clash. We have quality players and I am looking forward to a thoroughly professional and efficient display this weekend.” The pitch at the Oval is expected to assist the batsmen with the ball coming on nicely unto the bat for the first day and half and after the slow bowlers should come into play. The Windwards will be looking to overturn that huge 186-run loss at the hands of the Red Force in the league and they will be looking to their senior players to lead the way. Play begins at 10 am each day.
T&T: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Imran Khan, Rayad Emrit, Shannon Gabriel, Amit Jaggernauth, Ricky Jaipaul, Marlon Richards, Lendl Simmons, Akeal Hosein, Kelvin Williams (coach), Manohar Ramsaran (manager), Clinton Jeremiah (physio/trainer), Zephrinus Nicholas (masseur).
Windward Islands: Liam Sebastien (captain), Devon Smith, Tyrone Theophile, Sean Ambris, Keddy Lesporis, Kenroy Peters, Romel Currency, Lyndon James, Shane Shillingford, Delorn Johnson and Nelon Pascal.
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite, Nigel Duguid
Match referee: Hayden Bruce
Reserve umpire: Kellman KowlessarzRain could play in T&T's favour