Defending champions Barbados Pride are confident of regaining their title ahead of the CWI Regional Super50 Tournament scheduled to bowl off tomorrow.
The Pride will clash with perennial archrivals Trinidad and Tobago Red Force at Kensington Oval in a day and night encounter to raise the curtain on this year’s competition.
It will be the feature game in a Group A doubleheader that will also see Windward Islands Volcanoes and Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners battle at 3Ws Oval in a 9 a.m. encounter.
“Victory tomorrow is important. That will be the main goal, the boys are just really confident, they are feeling quite comfortable and pretty happy. They would have liked to win the regional four-day competition but we all know the reason why, we were hampered often with rain and we had no control over that. We got past that and are looking towards the Super50,” head coach Emmerson Trotman said during a pre-match interview with Barbados TODAY
Trotman stated that the Pride were very optimistic, especially playing at home for the first game.
“I am looking forward to having home advantage of course, we will try to exploit that very well. Playing against Trinidad we know that any team that comes up against Barbados tries to up their game. We will try to up our skills as well. It’s never going to be an easy game but Trinidad is the team the guys always look forward to playing against and be victorious by the end of the evening,” Trotman said.
He added: “There is always pressure being a defending champion. It is always more difficult to defend than to win. The extra pressure at home should give the team motivation because they like playing in front of their home crowd and they look forward to that.”
Trotman noted that it was vital for the Pride to get off to a winning start in the competition.
“We want to win. They want to get a good start in the competition and go forward with some momentum, that is what we are looking for upfront right now. We have to look to win every game especially the first three games. The expectation of the team really is just to win.
“I’m depending on the collective effort of the team whether it be batting or bowling. We don’t want to be slack in any area. I want the bowling to be strong and batting we have to be consistent all round and if that happens we will be successful.”
Amidst concerns of empty seats at the Oval in recent times, Trotman suggested that crowd size had no influence on his players who are committed to the job on the field.
“We don’t really pay much attention to if the crowd is big or not. We are extremely focused on the game at hand. It doesn’t really have an impact on the players but it would be nice to fill the stands by dominating. It would be a good thing to have a lot of spectators but it is also up to us to perform well.”
Pride and Red Force, along with Marooners, Volcanoes and English County Hampshire comprise Group A while last season’s losing finalists Jamaica Scorpions together with Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Guyana Jaguars, United States and Kent will do battle in Group B.
Barbados Pride Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich, Shamarh Brooks, Miguel Cummins, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Kevin Stoute, Roston Chase, Jonathan Carter.