Fresh from capturing the West Indies Cricket Board’s Under-19 three-day tournament, Barbados will be seeking to retain their regional one-day championship when that competition gets underway on Sunday.
Barbados captain Shai Hope told Barbados TODAY after his side’s victory yesterday, that the local lads were looking to take the momentum gained from winning the three- day tournament into the one- day competition and come away victorious in both categories.
Successfully defending the title which they won last year, he said, was at a premium. Looking back at their three-day tournament victory, Hope said that, despite not winning a single game in the tournament, he was still pleased with the squad for the effort they put in throughout.
He noted they had set a goal of winning the final match against Guyana, and though this was not achieved, the desire to win made them think about their cricket strategy even more.
Hope explained that the bonus points gained by Barbados’ fast bowlers were vital to their success. It was in areas like this, he suggested, that the team was always mindful could play an important and deciding factor.
Looking at his own performance with the bat and gloves in the tournament, Hope credited his success in scoring three centuries to hard work and dedication and said when it came to his wicket-keeping he took it very seriously.
“I take my game very seriously whether it’s batting, wicket-keeping or fielding. I always play to the best of my ability. I would like to be a wicket-keeper batsman and wicket-keeping is something I don’t intend to give up,” Hope said.
Barbados coach Dexter Toppin was equally ecstatic about Barbados’ victory and echoed Hope’s sentiment that though they had won the tournament without winning any of the games, they always played positively with the intention of winning their matches.
“The players are very happy with the results,” he said.
Toppin also noted that the quality of the tournament was good and added that he had seen a lot of talent from all the teams.
“All the teams showed good talent in their batting and bowling skills and if there were any let downs, it would have come from the fielding and Barbados was one of those teams which did not field the way I would have liked them to field. But otherwise, it was a good tournament and the West Indies Cricket Board should feel good about what they see in this tournament,” Toppin said.
According to Toppin, Barbados’ strength in the bowling department had played a significant role in the team’s performance and it was their sterling efforts that had given the home side the bonus points to win the tournament.
Looking forward to next year, the coach said there would be about seven players coming back and he believed the team would be stronger for that fact. He also praised Hope for a job well done and said he would work with the talented cricketer any day as he was an easy individual with whom to work and he had made his job as coach a very pleasant and easy task. (ML)
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