Cooper aims to step-up and fill Rampaul’s boots


Port-of-Spain, Trinidad – Trinidad & Tobago will be without Ravi Rampaul, their new ball ace, for the Caribbean T20 2013. They will be counting on Kevon Cooper to step up in the bid to defend their title, starting Sunday night.

When Rampaul was ruled out with an injury on Thursday, attention immediately turned to Cooper, the lanky seamer, and Shannon Gabriel, the strongly-built pacer. Cooper has used the new ball with telling effect and also bowled well at the ‘death’ for Trinidad and Tobago in regional cricket and for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.

"I’d just like to play my part as a player when the captain calls on me – going out there and picking up wickets – and hopefully we can win the third time around and bring the trophy back home," Cooper said.

"There’s no major pressure – I know what is required; in the team everyone knows what’s required. Once we win those four home games, we will have a good chance of winning again and bringing home the trophy. That’s the way we’re all thinking."

Cooper has seen first-hand many of the highs and lows of cricket. At age 19 he made his senior Trinidad and Tobago debut in 2008, but until 2011 failed to cement a place in the squad.

In the 2011 Caribbean T20 team Cooper and spinner Sunil Narine helped T&T secure the regional title and their second berth in the Champions League T20 tournament, but question marks over the players’ bowling actions forced them to head to Australia for successful remedial work.

"After playing and doing so well for Trinidad, Sunil and myself, and then to get called for ‘pelting’ was disappointing for me. I was feeling a bit down and having to go all the way to Australia to correct my action, it wasn’t easy for me as a player. But thank God for giving me the ability to cope and to come back and do well," said the 23-year-old, who is also a capable lower-order batsman.

He bounced back last year and was a crucial member of the championship-winning side. He played six matches and took six wickets. This included a match-winning 3-26 off four overs against Guyana at Sri Vivian Richards Stadium, which earned him the Player-of-the-Match award. Overall in his career he has so far taken 43 wickets in 41 T20 matches.

Trinidad & Tobago will open the tournament against last year’s losing finalists Jamaica at Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday at 8 pm (7 pm Jamaica Time.)


Barbados: Dwayne Smith (Captain), Shamarh Brooks (Vice Captain), Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Carlos Brathwaite, Justin Brathwaite, , Jonathan Carter, Rolston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Fidel Edwards, Ryan Hinds, Kyle Mayers, Ashley Nurse, Javon Searles,.

Combined Campuses and Colleges: Kyle Corbin (Captain), Sunil Ambris, Ryan Austin, Derone Davis, Akeem Dewar, Jason Holder, Kevin McClean, Wayne Morgan, Kristopher Ramsaran, Floyd Reifer, Raymon Reifer, Chadwick Walton, Ryan Wiggins, Kesrick Williams.

Guyana: Veerasammy Permaul (Captain), Christopher Barnwell (Vice Captain), Ronsford Beaton, Devendra Bishoo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Derwin Christian, Royston Crandon, Narsingh Deonarine, Jonathan Foo, Trevon Griffith, Steven Jacobs, Leon Johnson, Rajiv Ivan, Ramnaresh Sarwan.

Jamaica: Tamar Lambert (Captain), David Bernard Jr. (Vice Captain) Nkrumah Bonner, Odean Brown, John Campbell, Sheldon Cotterell, Yannick Elliott, Danza Hyatt, Andre McCarthy, Jamie Merchant, Nikita Miller, Andre Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Aldane Thomas.

Leeward Islands: Sylvester Joseph (Captain), Kieran Powell (Vice Captain), Justin Athanaze, Shane Burton, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Chesney Hughes, Javia Liburd, Anthony Martin, Lyndel Richardson, Gavin Tonge, Devon Thomas, Kelbert Walters, Tonito Willett.

Trinidad and Tobago: Denesh Ramdin (Captain), Darren Bravo (Vice Captain), Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Yannick Ottley, Evin Lewis, William Perkins, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons.

Windward Islands: Darren Sammy (Captain), Miles Bascombe, Tade Carmichael, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Lyndon James, Delorn Johnson, Keddy Lesporis, Garey Mathurin, Kenroy Peters, Nelon Pascal, Liam Sebastien, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith.


(AT QUEEN’S PARK OVAL, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad)

Sunday, January 6

Opening Ceremony – 4 p.m.

Trinidad & Tobago vs Jamaica – 8 p.m.

Monday, January 7

Barbados vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m.

Guyana vs Combined Campuses & Colleges – 8 p.m.

Tuesday, January 8

Jamaica vs Barbados – 4 p.m.

Trinidad & Tobago vs Combined Campuses & Colleges – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, January 9

Windward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.

Trinidad & Tobago vs Leeward Islands – 8 p.m.

Thursday, January 10

Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Windward Islands – 4 p.m.

Guyana vs Barbados – 8 p.m.

Friday, January 11

Leeward Islands vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.

Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Barbados – 8 p.m.

Saturday, January 12

Windward Islands vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m.

Trinidad & Tobago vs Guyana – 8 p.m.


Tuesday, January 15

Guyana vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.

Windward Islands vs Trinidad & Tobago – 8 p.m.

Wednesday, January 16

Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Leeward Islands – 4 p.m.

Barbados vs Trinidad & Tobago – 8 p.m.

Thursday, January 17

Leeward Islands vs Guyana – 4 p.m.

Windward Islands vs Barbados – 8 p.m.

Friday, January 18

Combined Campuses & Colleges vs Jamaica – 4 p.m.

Windward Islands vs Guyana – 8 p.m.

Saturday, January 19

Play-off: 2nd Place vs 3rd Place – 8 p.m.

Sunday, January 20

Grand Final: 1st Place vs Winner of Play-off – 8 p.m.