A Test debut, a maiden first class hundred and a more than generous taste of international cricket over the last 12 months has perfectly positioned all-rounder Raymon Reifer to take advantage of his return to Barbados Tridents for the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The 27-year-old, who was last a part of Tridents squad when they won the Hero CPL title in 2014, is one of several Barbadian players set to feature as the Bridgetown-based franchise chase their second trophy during the August 8 to September 16 tournament.
Reifer is unlike the player of four years ago, however. Over the last year, he has gained a tonne of experience, having toured England with West Indies last summer, made his Test debut against New Zealand in December, before returning to the Caribbean to notch an unbeaten hundred for Guyana Jaguars in the domestic first-class competition.
And Reifer said he was now hoping to use his recent development to ensure Tridents had a successful season.
“I’m really happy to be back at the Tridents this year and I’m really looking forward to having a good season and contributing to their success,” Reifer said.
“It has been a wonderful experience over the last year, making my Test debut and being with West Indies. It benefited me a lot being able to rub shoulders with a lot of international players and I’ve gotten a lot of tips from them, in terms of their experience and how they have handled different situations.
“It has made me a better cricketer obviously and continuing to play at that level has really improved my all-round game.”
Reifer is a competent left-handed lower order batsman who has proven his worth in recent times at first class level, with 2400 runs from 62 matches at a steadily rising average of 26. His left-arm medium pace has also come on in leaps and bounds, and accounts for 129 wickets, also at an average of 26.
“I think I can bring a useful skills-set to the Tridents if selected, and I’m just looking forward to getting out there on the park and putting in some quality performances in order to help the team bring home the title this year,” Reifer noted.
“T20 cricket for me is just about thinking on your feet and making good decisions quickly. You have to think about the next move the batsman or bowler is going to make and use your skills to combat that.
“For me, it is also about being disciplined and making as little mistakes as possible in order to give yourself the best chance to chase a target or defend a target.”
Reifer’s early talent was honed in the rich melting pot that is Barbados cricket, alongside the likes of captain Jason Holder, Roston Chase and Shai Hope, all of whom will feature for Tridents this season.
And with veteran opener Dwayne Smith and West Indies off-spinner Ashley Nurse, along with the youthful pace trio of Dominic Drakes, Shamar Springer and Chemar Holder, all included, Tridents will possess a distinctive Barbadian flavour.
“I’m looking forward to the experience of playing with these guys,” explained Reifer.
“Obviously we know one another very well because many of us have played a lot of cricket together throughout the years from as early as Barbados Under-19s, so it should not be difficult to get back into the thick of things and gel with the guys.”
He added: “I think we have a very good team. It’s just for us to come together and gel and I’m pretty sure our chances of winning the tournament will be right up there.”
Tridents open their campaign on August 12 against Guyana Amazon Warriors in Georgetown and will then take on St Lucia Stars on August 17 in Gros Islet and Jamaica Tallawahs on August 22 in Lauderhill, USA, before hosting five matches at historic Kensington Oval from August 25 to September 2. (PR)