Lambert hails 'balanced' national Super50 squad
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Former national one-day captain, Tamar Lambert, believes the 14-man squad that has been named to represent the Jamaica Franchise during this month's WICB/NAGICO Insurance Super50 Tournament is an improvement on last year's selections.
The squad, which is currently in training for the January 15 to 25 competition, sees the return of big-hitting batsman Danza Hyatt, but also the inclusion of five players, who are yet to gain regional one-day caps.
They are leg-spinner Damion Jacobs, young fast bowler Marquino Mindley, left-arm wrist spinner, Dennis Bulli, pace bowling all-rounder, Derval Green, and unheralded left-arm seamer, Gavan Brown.
"I believe it's a balanced squad, and much better than last year's," said Lambert.
"For example, Hyatt is back, which is good, as the last time we went to the tournament in Trinidad, I was the only senior specialist batsman in the team.
"His inclusion should add a bit more balance to our batting.
"As for the bowling, last year, we only had one out-and-out spinner in Nikita Miller, and I was asked to do a lot of bowling.
"Now the selectors have added Jacobs and Bulli, and as such I believe we stand a greater chance of doing well on the pitches in Trinidad, which, at times, tend to favour spinners," added the 33-year-old.
Jamaica, who were led by all-rounder David Bernard Jr last season, bowed out of the tournament at the semi-final stage after being bowled out for 49, and losing by seven wickets to hosts Trinidad.
They had recorded 14 and 10 runs wins over Windward Islands and Guyana, and a six-wicket win over Ireland in the group stages.
This year, the team has been drawn in Group B along with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, and guest team West Indies Under-19s.
Jamaica, to be led this year for the first time by Miller, will open their account against the Hurricanes on January 16, before going up against the Red Force on the 18, and closing out against West Indies Under-19s on the 20.
The semi-finals will be held on January 22 and 23, with the final slated for the January 25.
Jamaica Super50 Squad - Nikita Miller (capt), Tamar Lambert, John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Andre McCarthy, Danza Hyatt, Horace Miller, David Bernard Jr, Damion Jacobs, Marquino Mindley, Derval Green, Gavon Brown, Dennis Bulli.