Tue | Nov 12, 2019

Tallawahs buoyed ahead of CPL opener

Published:Friday | September 6, 2019 | 12:18 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Tallawahs players celebrate the fall of a St Lucia Stars wicket in Match 7 of the Caribbean Premier League at Sabina Park on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.
Jamaica Tallawahs players celebrate the fall of a St Lucia Stars wicket in Match 7 of the Caribbean Premier League at Sabina Park on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

Jamaica Tallawahs head coach Donovan Miller says his troops are ready and raring to kick-start their Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign when they take on the Trinbago Knight Riders at the Queen’s Park Oval tonight at 7 p.m.

Miller, who previously coached the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, says his charges are quite relaxed and preparation has been going well despite some inclement weather in Trinidad. On Wednesday, the foreign contingent in the Tallawahs set up met up with the remaining squad members, and Miller said that the team bonding has already been good, and it is now just a matter of going out on the park and giving their all.

“The mood in the camp is quite relaxed thanks to the senior guys like Chris (Gayle) and Andre (Russell),” Miller said. “Both veterans have been quite helpful and the rest of the boys seem to be a lot more confident having these guys around, so it’s all about going out and executing our plans come Friday.”

Good response

Miller, who also coached the Vancouver Knights in the just concluded Global Canada T20, says the lads have responded well to his coaching methodology, as they are no strangers to each other.

“Look, I have been around these guys for around five seasons now, so we are used to each other,” he said. “My philosophy is to, however, create an environment that is relaxed, and one that the players can feel free to express themselves and not be afraid to make mistakes. We will continue to prepare smartly and not get too far ahead of ourselves.”

The Tallawahs will be without Pakistan player Amad Butt, who has been asked by the Pakistan Cricket Board to remain in Pakistan and play in the domestic competition.

He has been replaced by veteran fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who Miller believes can play a key role in the team’s victory bid.

“Jerome has been playing some excellent cricket with Somerset in the T20 Blast competition in England, so he is coming in with a lot of cricket under his belt, plus he is a player with tons of experience, and that will go a long way in helping some of our younger bowlers as the tournament goes on,” Miller said.

Once again, the Tallawahs will be banking on the run-scoring exploits of the team’s 2018 leading run-scorer, wicketkeeper Glen Phillips, along with Gayle, Russell, Chadwick Walton, and Rovman Powell.The bowling unit for the opening encounter could include speedster Oshane Thomas, medium pacers Derval Green, Shamar Springer, and left-arm spinners Zahir Khan of Afghanistan, and Jamaica’s very own Christopher Lamont.

Since winning the inaugural tournament in 2013 and then again in 2016, the Tallawahs have managed to finish in fourth place in the last two seasons of the CPL.