It might be a longshot but head coach Emmerson Trotman believes Barbados Pride has a good chance of winning the Cricket West Indies Regional Four-Day Cricket Competition.
Trotman told Barbados TODAY that even though the team was a young one, they were hungry for success, and had been hard at training since their dismal performance last month in the Regional Super50 which was won by Combined Campuses and Colleges Marooners for the first time.
Pride will be led by regular captain Shamarh Brooks and will include the likes of Test pacer Miguel Cummins and veteran left-hander Jonathan Carter.
West Indies players like Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich and Kemar Roach are all currently on tour with the West Indies in Bangladesh, while Jason Holder is out injured.
However, while Trotman acknowledged that those were big shoes to fill, he viewed it as an opportunity for young upcoming talent in the team to show their worth.
“Immediately after the Super50 we started our preparation and put somethings in place,” Trotman told Barbados Today in an interview following the announcement of the 13-man squad.
“The guys have been working very hard and executing well. They are looking forward to the tournament, and it is a tournament that we are looking to win with a young side.
“We are hungry for success, and the youngsters see a big opportunity before them with the senior guys being away.”
Barbados boasts of being the most decorated team in the regional first class championship with 21 titles but are long overdue for success having not won the regional competition in four years.
In fact, they have played second fiddle to four-time reigning champions, Guyana Jaguars, since the start of the professional system four years ago.
Despite the drought, Trotman said he was confident his team could execute throughout the 10 rounds of the championship and deliver the title.
“We’ve got a good opportunity. What we must try and do is get early momentum, take advantage of the earlier games and look to get success from the Leeward Islands and Jamaica to give us the momentum going forward and keep planning well. I believe we should win the tournament this year,” Trotman said.
Pride will be without the services, however, of seasoned all-rounder Kevin Stoute who has been dropped. The 33-year-old had a modest campaign last season, scoring 284 runs at an average of 23, with a single half century, while snaring 16 wickets with his medium pace at 26 runs apiece.
In last month’s Super50, he scored 188 runs at an average of 23 and took 10 wickets.
Brooks, Carter and opener Shayne Moseley carried the Pride batting last season and Trotman said he hoped to see his seasoned players stepping up to the plate again and leading by example, especially with the bat.
“Carter is in good form now, and Moseley is a terrific player and Brooks normally plays a major role,” he noted.
“So, I am looking to those guys especially Jonathan Carter, he is a very mature ,senior player, and I am looking to him as the man to lead my batting.”
Selectors have included uncapped left-hander Nicholas Kirton, who turned out for Marooners in the recent Super50.
Highly-regarded left-arm pacer Dominic Drakes was not considered for selection due to injury.
SQUAD – Shamarh Brooks (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Chemar Holder, Aaron Jones, Nicholas Kirton, Shayne Moseley, Shamar Springer, Tevyn Walcott, Hayden Walsh Jr.