Ridley Jacobs quotes | NAGICO Super50 Tournament

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – This year’s NAGICO Super50 Tournament opens next Thursday in Trinidad & Tobago.

Leeward Islands Hurricanes are a seven-time winner of the region’s premier 50 overs-a-side tournament (including three shared) and will be looking to recapture past glories.

The Hurricanes have endured a lean period in regional competitions over the last decade and they have been working hard to try to rebuild their side which has produced four legendary West Indies knights – Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Andy Roberts, Sir Richie Richardson and Sir Curtly Ambrose – in the past.

The sub-regional side are in Group “B” along with the Jamaica Franchise, West Indies Under-19s and hosts Trinidad & Tobago.

The first stage of the Tournament will be the group stage comprising a series of non-elimination matches in each group – each team will play every other team in its group – with two matches being contested daily at either the Queen’s Park Oval, the T&T Cricket Board’s National Cricket Centre in the central Trinidad community of Couva, or Shaw Park in Scarborough, the capital of Trinidad’s sister island Tobago.

Following the group stage, the top two teams in each group will progress to the semi-finals at the Oval, where the group winners play the runners-up from the opposite group in a one-off match for a place in the Grand Final on Sunday, January 25 at the same venue.

Today, WICB Media presents key quotes from Hurricanes Head Coach Ridley Jacobs, a former captain and West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman.

On his team’s chances:
We have been in St. Kitts and training very hard to prepare for this particular tournament. Hopefully, the guys put things together and give a good account of themselves.

On areas of improvement he wants to see:
I think all areas. We didn’t bat very well in the last NS50 and we did not bowl in the right areas, so I believe if we can get these two things right we will be far more competitive in the upcoming tournament.

On preparations:
We have been together for the last five days and we have been working hard on simulating match situations because I think that we need to have a plan going forward for a game setting instead of being restricted to just net sessions. We are setting targets and trying to get to those targets, so that they are actually playing a game, so that when they get into the tournament, they will have a clear understanding of what it is they need to do to win games.

On key players to success:
Our captain Devon Thomas and our vice-captain Jahmar Hamilton – it will be important that they put good scores on the board for us and the other players rally around them. In the bowling department, we have Gavin Tonge and Anthony Martin. I also expect to see good performances from Rahkeem Cornwall.

On trying to get players focussed again following the break:
It has not been too difficult because many of the players have been doing some work on their own. Coming back from the Christmas holidays, we have a beep test which many of the guys did fairly well, so they have been working. They are fully aware of the situation in which Leeward Islands cricket and how we have not been as successful over the last few years, so they know that we need to improve on all areas of our game and continue to work hard to try to change things around.

On defining success other than in terms of winning:
I think most of it is that we must play together as a unit. . .We must come together as a family. We must get to know each player’s strengths and weaknesses, and the same about players from other teams. We also need our players to aim to put the performances that would allow them to play for West Indies.