Richardson sets sights on Super50 title
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC):
New Windward Islands head coach, Andrew Richardson, hopes to mark his first season in charge with the capture of the Regional Super50 which bowls off next month.
Speaking ahead of the November 6 start of the tournament, the Jamaican said winning was the most important thing, especially following last season’s debacle when Volcanoes finished one from bottom in their group and failed to qualify for the semi-finals.
“Winning the tournament is the ultimate. We finished close to the bottom in our group last season. We do not expect to repeat that performance,” Richardson said.
“Success is really all about winning. If we do not win, it does not mean we have totally failed, but every team enters a tournament to win and we are coming with an eye to win.”
Volcanoes will do battle in Group B alongside last year’s losing finalists Guyana Jaguars, multiple-time champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, West Indies Emerging Players and United States.
Group B is scheduled to be played at historic Queen’s Park Oval and Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
And while Volcanoes will be hard-pressed to make it out of the group with more favoured sides like Jaguars and Red Force expected to advance, Richardson backed his side to frustrate the pundits.
“We are not going to focus on just one or two sides. There are other teams in the group other than the Jaguars and Red Force,” he pointed out.
“We have to play well against all teams. We have to play the game our way and try to execute our plans well.”
Volcanoes will be led by former West Indies vice-captain Kirk Edwards and includes the likes of veteran batsman Devon Smith and former Test off-spinner Shane Shillingford.
Two young, uncapped batsmen Desron Maloney and Dillon Douglas have been named in the squad, and Richardson believes selectors have struck the right balance.
“We have a number of quality players. We have youth and experience, so we expect the senior players to play a major role in helping to shape the team,” he noted.
“We expect a good showing in the Super50. If we plan the way we ought to do and we execute properly in each game, we expect to be in a good position at the end of the tournament.”
He added: “[The] strength is definitely in our batting. We have a number of all-rounders which will allow us to bat down to numbers 10 and 11. Our bowling has been consistent over the last few years and we hope it remains the same.”
Richardson said despite some interruptions from the weather, preparations had gone well, and both batsmen and bowlers had enjoyed success during the three practice matches possible.
“We have been affected by the rain. This has not been a deterrent, however, and the players are still upbeat. They have been putting in the work,” he explained.
“A few of our batsmen got hundreds in our practice matches and our bowlers are looking exceptionally well, so it is about putting it all together and winning as many games as possible.”
Volcanoes open their campaign on November 7 against Red Force at the Oval.