Bennett calls for consistency
KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC):Jamaica are hoping to make a strong start to the inaugural WICB Professional Cricket League, and are hoping their preparation gives them the edge in the competition which bowls off tomorrow.
Head coach Junior Bennett said it was important the team performed well in the early matches, in order to gain early momentum in the newly revamped first-class tournament.
"We are looking forward to the new season. Our preparations have been going well," said Bennett.
"The players have been putting in some creditable performances in local matches, so we are hoping to make a positive start to the new season this coming weekend and in the matches before the Christmas break - and that our senior players can lead from the front."
Jamaica produced a mixed bag last season with three wins and three defeats, to finish fourth in the championship and squeeze into the semi-finals of the Headley-Weekes Trophy competition.
They opened with victory over Guyana at Sabina Park, followed up with another win over Leeward Islands away in St Kitts before suffering a run of defeats to Windward Islands, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
Though they captured the Headley-Weekes Trophy, Bennett said Jamaica would be looking to rectify these inconsistencies this year.
"We had a lot of young players and they took a long time to settle down, so towards the back-end of the tournament they began to play more consistently," he pointed out.
"We are hoping that they can all make a better start to the tournament in this new season and we can get some positive results early. Once we play consistently well, we will again be competitive."
And despite the new format that will see teams play home and away fixtures, Bennett does not anticipate a burden on this players.
"The players are in good physical condition. We have managed over the last few seasons to stay relatively injury-free," he said.
"This season should not be too difficult. I remember the last time the season was contested over 10 rounds, we played all of the matches back-to-back without any break.
"This time, we play four matches and have a monthlong break to play the NAGICO Super50 Tournament and then get back to the first-class matches, and there is another break after the seventh round, so I think it will be much easier going this season."