Windward likely to give Barbados edge over Jamaica
What has turned out to be Barbados’ substitute cricket ground may actually be the best choice after all.
With Kensington Oval unavailable for the home side’s WICB Professional Cricket League (PCL) second round clash against the Jamaican Franchise starting on Friday, head coach of the Barbados Pride, Henderson Springer strongly believes hosting the match at the Windward Cricket Club could give his team a notable advantage.
Springer told Barbados Today that while Jamaica would not be familiar with conditions at the Lucas Street, St Philip ground, several players in the Barbados squad would have played there in recent times.
“I can tell you this . . . we are more familiar with playing at Windward than Jamaica are so we have to make the most of that,” Springer acknowledged.
“We are quite familiar with Windward and we have a number of guys who would have played games there within the last couple of months.
“Guys like Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse and Miguel Cummins would have played there regularly when they were playing with the High Performance Centre,” he added.
Springer said the switch to Windward was a welcomed one, as he was always in favour of playing some first-class cricket matches away from Kensington Oval.
Additionally, he noted that with the match being played at a rural ground, he was hoping for a bigger turnout of spectators.
“It is good sometimes to take the first-class cricket to a cricketing outpost, as I would call it. I’ve always been a firm believer that first-class matches should be played across the island.
“I’m hoping that people come out to watch the match, because that support would be very good as obviously the guys need the support. They are champions from last season and they will embrace the support,” Springer pointed out.
While expressing his disappointment at the outcome of the first match at the T&T Red Force –– which ended in a draw due to inclement weather – the head coach said he was looking for a similarly good performance against Jamaica.
And with this set to be the last match for some of the senior players who will leave to represent the West Indies on the upcoming tour of South Africa, he said he was expecting them to put their best foot forward.
“Obviously I’m looking for a positive performance . . . and for the guys who may have to go off to West Indies duty, that they leave us having gotten full points from Jamaica, which would give them good practice and good momentum going into the series in South Africa,” Springer explained.
Left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, captain Kraigg Brathwaite, and fast bowlers Jason Holder and Kemar Roach are set to depart for the tour which runs into the New Year, and Springer admitted that while they would be missed, he believed the younger members of the squad would step up to the plate.
“We won’t suffer heavily, but it will give some of the youngsters who are here in the Franchise an opportunity to perform,” the former Barbados off-spinner said.
“Only 11 can play at a time and it is unfortunate that some of the youngsters and some of the guys who perform well at the club cricket level are sometimes on the sidelines.”
Brathwaite stroked 182 last weekend while Roach bowled with pace to trouble the T&T batsmen.