Tallawahs are more balanced - Richardson
Jamaica Tallawahs manager Andrew Richardson, says that the team is ready and raring to go ahead of their opening match against defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders in this year's Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The match will be played in Port-of-Spain tomorrow at 7:00 p.m.
Twenty-six-year-old Australian Adam Zampa will replace Shahid Afridi in the Tallawahs team, after the former Pakistan captain had to withdraw due to a knee issue, and Richardson told The Gleaner prior to the team's departure for the twin-island republic yesterday that the players are very confident ahead of tomorrow's encounter.
"We are going up against the defending champions in our opening game, and so I think the players are in a good frame of mind, and this will be a good measuring stick for us," said Richardson. "We respect everyone, but we fear no team and so we are just hoping to go out there and play some good cricket."
"Everything is going great because I thought we had a very good camp, and the players are looking better, and they have settled nicely into the team," Richardson said.
The Tallawahs were knocked out at the quarterfinal stage last season.
However, Richardson added with the return of all-rounder Andre Russell from his anti-doping whereabouts violation ban, this year's team is much more balanced compared to previous years.
"It is great to have Andre (Russell) back in the team because he is a match winner with bat and ball, and he is also a game changer. We know how destructive he can be overall, and so, hopefully, he can rally the troops and lead us to the title," said Richardson.
"I also think that we have a very balanced team because we have covered all departments. We have a lot of power at the top. We have guys like Kennar Lewis, Johnson Charles and Steven Taylor, and these men can clear the boundaries easily," he said.
"We have Rovman Powell and Andre McCarthy, who scored over 250 runs last year along with Russell in the middle order," Richardson said. "We have Samuel Badree, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas and these are quality bowlers and so we do have a very rounded team and we just need to put everything together on the day," he added.
The Tallawahs also include South Africa's David Miller, Ross Taylor and Glenn Phillips from New Zealand and Imad Wasim from Pakistan.
Zampa previously represented the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL and is a consistent performer for Australia in the Twenty20 and ODI formats of the game with both bat and ball.
The leg-spinner has taken 17 wickets in 13 Twenty20 international matches for Australia and an additional 98 wickets in 84 Twenty20s.