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Smith, Pollard headline single-wicket tourney
Defending Caribbean Singlewicket champion Dwayne Smith will have to be at his best at Saturday's second annual event as Indian Premier League star Kieron Pollard will be among 12 allrounders aiming for the top prize of US$7,000. The top allrounders in the Caribbean will battle at UWI, St Augustine from 4 pm to 11 pm in what is described as a seven-hour cricket and music extravaganza. The players will line up in four groups of three in one-on-one matches with each player facing two overs. Fieldsmen and wicketkeepers will take part to make up the cricket regulations.
In group one, Lendl Simmons (T&T), Marlon Richards (T&T) and Devon Thomas (Antigua) will square off. In group two, defending champion Smith (Barbados), Narsingh Deonarine (Guyana) and a UWI wild card, who has not yet been selected, will battle. Pollard (T&T), who is one of the most popular T20 players in the world, will headline group three. Standing in Pollard's way will be Kevon Cooper (T&T) and Michael Brown (Antigua). Christopher Barnwell (Guyana) and the T&T duo of Rayad Emrit and Navin Stewart will play in group four. The seeded players are Smith (one), Pollard (two), Simmons (three) and Barnwell (four). The top player in each group will advance to the semifinal stage.
At a press conference held yesterday at the Normandie Hotel, St Anns, the organisers said a Smith-Pollard final is a possibility as they are on opposite sides of the draw. Secretary of the Singlewicket foundation Forbes Persaud said they were hoping to get Sunil Narine to play, but the spinner has an injury. Persaud stated: “Sunil Narine, who played with us last year had to undergo an X-Ray yesterday (Monday), he has an injury to a finger.” Many incentives are up for grabs including prizes for most catches by a fielder, most stumpings, most sixes in an innings and most outstanding T&T player. Soca and chutney stars will entertain the spectators, who are allowed to walk with coolers. The admission fee is $60.