Pride set for roaring finish

The Barbados Pride cricket team has the fire power to win both the Digicel Regional 4 Day competition and Nagico Super 50 titles says, manager Wendell Coppin.

Speaking with Barbados TODAY, Coppin said with nine of their senior players back from West Indies duty, the team will be back to full strength and therefore increase its chances of coming out on top in both formats for the 2016/2017 regional cricket season.

Barbados Pride Manager, Wendell Coppin

After the conclusion of round five matches, which Coppin described as being gruesome, the Pride are third on 47.2 points behind leaders Jamaican Scorpions 67.6 and defending champions Guyana Jaguars 64.6.

In order for the Bajan lads to have a good chance at capturing both trophies, they must win their next five home matches early next year to deny Scorpions or Jaguars the title.

“Ultimately the long term plans and goals are to win all competitions that we participate in but winning is a process. We have just finished the first half of the four-day competition. A grueling first half I must say, and conditions did not help us. But we believe we are in a good position. Based on the climate and conditions we faced on our away leg in Guyana and particularly Dominica, to come out in third position is as healthy as one could expect given the circumstances.

“We strongly believe that we are in a good place but at the same time we are still cognizant of the fact that we are playing at home. We have to ensure conditions are right for the team. All of these things have to be a unified effort with ground staff, support staff, and with us, the team. But we intend to make an impact playing at home,” he said.

Members of the team including, Captain Jason Holder, are currently on a seven day Christmas holiday break but are scheduled to be back in the nets from December 27 to 29 for the first of two trail matches (the other trail tobe played January 3-5) before the Nagico Super 50 commences next year on January 21. Barbados is scheduled to host group B.

As manager, Coppin said he is happy with this particular group of players, who are extremely unified, and with the return of prolific batsman Dwayne Smith from the Guyana Amazon Warriors, local fans can expect to see some good cricket from the home boys.

“One thing I can say about this current crop of Barbadian cricketers, they are a unified group. I don’t know what has happened over the past fifty years in terms of unity in past but I could not have asked to be managing a better group of young cricketers. They look out for each other, they sit and have breakfast, lunch and dinner with each other, and if a member of the team is not available or not present they often ask why. So the comradery within the team is very good and healthy.

“As a result, having those players back [from the West Indies duties] would boost the moral of the players that are already here. And it will also give those players impetus to want to do better. So it is two-fold, one, the players who would normally not play if they [seniors] are around think yes, this is what I have to do to be in the team but at the same time it gives them that lift that yes, the big boys are back and we have what it takes to win,” Coppin expressed confidently.

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