Confident Jamaica chasing fifth title Skipper Lambert says “We are ready”

Kingston, Jamaica — Jamaica will be chasing their fifth consecutive West Indies Cricket Board Regional Four-day title when this year’s tournament opens on Friday. The defending champs have named a strong, experienced side as they look to be crowned the kings of West Indies first-class cricket.

Speaking after Thursday’s full training session and team meeting, skipper Tamar Lambert said the talk in the team and around Jamaica was about showcasing their dominance in the region’s premier cricket competition.

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"Our preparations have been very good … I would say spot on. We are ready to go! We will be looking to go all the way and win the Cup again this year and make it five consecutive titles. We are aware that it won’t happen just like that. We know it won’t be easy. We know the other teams will be looking to beat us and take away our title, so we have prepared well and will look to be dominant," said a confident Lambert.

Jamaica start the 2012 season on Friday against Windward Islands at Sabina Park. First ball is 10 am (11 am Eastern Caribbean Time). This will be followed by two more home matches at Sabina Park against Barbados (February 10-13) and Leewards (February 16-19), before they go on the road.

"Playing our first three matches at home could be seen as an advantage but in recent years we have played extremely well away from home, so it not a big factor for us. No matter where we play we will look to stick to the basics and play our brand of cricket, which is built around our experienced players, who have done the job very well for us for many years," Lambert said.

"We have Brendan Nash back in the team and he has been playing really well. Chris (Gayle) is with us for the first match and we expect big things from him. We have the experienced spin pair of Nikita Miller and Odean Brown, who have won many matches for us in all formats, and we count on them to do the same again. We also have (Andrew) Richardson, who will use the new ball. He is back now and is one of our best bowlers. I expect him to do the job again for Jamaica."

In the other first round matches, Guyana face Leeward Islands at Windsor Park in Dominica, while Combined Campuses & Colleges take on Trinidad & Tobago at the 3Ws Oval in a day/night match using the PINK ball.