. . .BUT TRIDENTS ARE HOME STILL WITH HEAVY ARTILLERY
Barbados Trident will be without the services of homeboy Jason Holder as they prepare to shine at Kensington Oval in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
Tridents manager Jason Harper told Barbados TODAY it was a shame the West Indies captain would not be able to play a game because of his commitments to the regional side which will be playing against the touring Indians in a four-match Test series.
Holder was noticeably missing from CPL action when the side first played in Trinidad and Tobago then St Kitts.
“He has West Indies duties so we are giving him some rest and you probably won’t see him playing for us in Barbados which is a shame. But we want to ensure that he has a long career in cricket generally,” Harper said.
With respect to preparation for their four upcoming games starting on Monday at Kensington Oval, Harper made it clear they would seek to build on their one win in St Kitts by winning all of their matches on home turf.
Tridents have had a good track record in CPL having reached the semifinal in 2013, won in 2014 and made the final yet again in 2015 where they lost to Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
Harper said they were looking to go all the way this year with what he described as a well-balanced unit with top class batsmen like Tridents’ leading scorer Shoaib Malik and South African sensation AB de Villiers. He was also of the opinion that many persons underestimated the quality of their bowling attack.
“We tightened up a few things from the opening game in Trinidad and if you saw that game there was some rust, some guys were extremely tired coming off the recent tri-nation series and that combined with us traveling was a bit tricky, but we are coming together. We now have all the international players with us and they are helping the younger players come through and I think that is probably the best part of this league – the interaction between the international and professional cricketers.
“We have guys that can definitely do it on any surface and if you look at St Kitts it is probably the most challenging location for bowling because of the good nature of the batting track and small nature of the ground. So bowlers tend to get knocked around but our bowlers have been able to do well. Pollard has done a good job in varying bowlers for each situation and conditions, so hopefully we can continue finding our way. Not to mention we have leg-spinner Imran Khan, West Indies off-spinner Ashley Nurse, South Africa medium pace bowler David Wiese, left-arm seamer Wayne Parnell also a South African, who bowled extremely well in the first two games and Ravi Rampaul. So our bowling is quite strong and we will lean on those,” Harper explained.
Harper pointed out that it was still early in the tournament and therefore the Tridents did not want to peak too early with games still to be played at home, Jamaica, St Lucia and Florida.
The manager also took time to put the entire issue about international and regional players being chosen ahead of Barbadian cricketers to bed by saying it had no place in this form of cricket.
“If you look at the India Premier League they have just as many international players. Most international sports such as the NBA, the most diverse international sports league with players from all over the world. And it is not a question about where they are from, but rather creating an opportunity for these professional players and our local players. And at practice sessions you will see all the young players from Barbados’ division one, secondary schools, are being involved in the set-up and we welcome them.
“Not only that, but the team has several locals. For instance the assistant coach, manager, massage therapist and then you have the players Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Kyle Corbin, and out of the seventeen players we have only five international players with four being South African and the other from Pakistan so therefore that talk should drop altogether,” he said.
Tridents star batsman and leading run-scorer Malik told Barbados TODAY while in practice session this afternoon he enjoyed playing at Kensington Oval.
“I am the type of player who love when the ball comes straight onto the bat and Barbados is the ideal wicket because the ball comes nicely on to the bat and I will definitely enjoy that,” Malik said.
In addition to that he liked the fact that de Villiers has been included in the side and believed that Tridents would have the edge playing at home no matter who the opposition might be.
“It is such an honour having de Villiers in the team. I would say he is from a different planet and he is such a great guy, cricketer, I would even say legend, who brings lots of positive energy all-round to the team especially in the field. He is definitely a big boost to our batting line-up,” the former Pakistani captain said.