ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – This year’s NAGICO Super50 Tournament opens this coming Thursday in Trinidad & Tobago.
Over the last decade, the Jamaica Franchise have distinguished themselves in the 4-Day format with no less than a half-dozen titles, but have been unable to transfer that success into the shorter formats.
Under new leadership – champion left-arm spinner Nikita Miller takes over the reins of captaincy – they embark on a quest to try and put this right.
The Jamaica Franchise play alongside the West Indies Under-19s, Leeward Islands Hurricanes and hosts Trinidad & Tobago Red Force in Group “B”.
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 Head Coach Junior Bennett.
On his side’s chances:
I think our chances are extremely good, although we have five players that are debutants. I believe that once we play to the best of our ability, we will be competitive. Once we play well and consistently throughout the tournament, we should give a good account of ourselves.
On areas for improvement from last year:
Once our batting comes to the party that will increase our chances of doing well. Last year, I don’t believe we batted as well as we could have, so this is the area of major concern for us. We have been bowling extremely well and our out-cricket is good, once our batting turns up, we should be very competitive.
They have been going well and I am extremely pleased about it. We had a few practice matches and our training sessions has been going great. It is now just about us going to T&T and executing.
On players regaining focus following the holiday break:
It has not been that challenging. We have been training throughout the break. It is nothing new to us. We used to do it in past seasons when we were preparing for the first-class season and so this is no different.
On new captain Nikita Miller:
Nikita is a very experienced player and leadership is nothing new to him. He has been vice captain of various national teams. It’s just that he stepping up to the plate now and will have to use his experience. I have no doubt he will do well in the tournament.
On players expected to make an impact:
I will not single out any player. If we have so many debutants, the senior players will have to step up to the plate. We have some proven performers over the years and we are looking for them to put their best foot forward.
On definition for success other than winning:
Once I can see improvement from the very first match to the next and right away through the tournament, I would be extremely happy.