Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Scorpions confident ahead of Jaguars test

Published:Wednesday | November 9, 2016 | 12:00 AMJermaine Lannaman

Steadfast on improving on their performances from the last three seasons, Jamaica Scorpions should now be settling into Guyana ahead of their opening fixture of the new-look first-class WICB Professional League.

The Robert Samuels-coached unit, who opens on Friday against two-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars at Providence Stadium, last season finished third.

This represented an improvement on their fifth place finish the previous season and fourth position placing in 2013-14.

The team in 2011-2012 claimed an unprecedented fifth straight hold on the title, which is competed for by six regional territories.

''I would love to win the tournament yes, but just taking over the team ... I am just looking for us to improve our standings over the previous two seasons,'' stated Samuels, prior to the team's departure yesterday.

According the former West Indies opening batsman, who has taken over the team from the long-standing Junior Bennett, one of his priorities as well this season, will be to change what he deems as an emerging problematic team culture.

He said over the past three seasons with senior players being replaced at a high rate with juniors there has been a lost in team chemistry, something he wishes to change.

''Because the transition that we have been going through we basically have a broken team,'' he said.

''Success for me, therefore, is putting out a 'team' out there on the park, and, two, moving up the ladder and finishing in the top two.''

Samuels, whose was last season the team's assistant coach, and will see left-arm spinner, Nikita Miller, leading the team at the four-day level for the first time, is also optimistic about the team's chances, particularly given their pre-season preparations.

''We started preparation from the first of September,'' he said. ''We did some technical work out in the middle then some technical work in the nets, and then moved from the technical works to the net sessions.

''We thereafter moved into some two-day and three-day practice games whereby despite the some bad weather at times, we were able to get in some good cricket.''

Jamaica Scorpions squad: Nikita Miller (captain), John Campbell, Trevon Griffith, Devon Thomas, Jermaine Blackwood, Brandon King, Shacaya Thomas, Andre McCarthy, Chadwick Walton, Damion Jacobs, Derval Green, Marquino Mindley and Jason Dawes.