New Scorpions era begins - Jamaica face Barbados Pride in Super50 opener
A new era in Jamaica’s cricket starts today as the Jamaica Scorpions begin their quest for the Super50 Cup when they face arch-rivals Barbados in a Day/Night encounter starting at 12:30 p.m. Jamaica time at Warner Park in St Kitts.
With a fresh, new coach in André Coley and new captain Rovman Powell, the Jamaicans are keen to turn around their fortunes with regard to silverware, and captain Powell has dubbed this a ‘Championship Year’, beginning with the regional limited-overs championship.
“Our team’s chances are as good as any. I think we have a pretty balanced team, and it’s just for us to do what is required on the day,” said Powell.
“The guys know what is the aim. It’s a championship year, and it’s been a while since the Jamaica franchise won anything whether it be four-day or 50 over competition. It’s definitely something everyone is looking forward to and the preparation has been good. It’s just for us to try our best and get into the semi-finals and take it from there,” Powell added
Despite the new leadership in the coaching and captaincy department, the Scorpions squad remains pretty much the same from past seasons with familiar faces such as Jermaine Blackwood, Andre McCarthy, Assad Fudadin, Nkrumah Bonner, and Powell leading the batting charge.
The bowling unit is expected to be spearheaded by pacer Oshane Thomas, spinner Dennis Bulli, and fast bowler Marquino Mindley, who played for the Pride last season.
Relishing the opportunity
New captain Powell is relishing the opportunity of leading the Scorpions and eyes the role on a much larger scale.
“It’s a responsibility that I grasp with both hands. The country is looking for leaders, not just the country but West Indies is looking for leaders, and if I can put my hand up at this stage, you never know,” added Powell.
Last year, the teams split their head-to-head meeting in the group stage of the competition, with Jamaica winning the first encounter by 33 runs on the back of a brilliant 122 from Chris Gayle.
The Pride would then win the return fixture by 39 runs thanks to a fine knock of 82 from Jonathan Carter and a five-wicket haul from seamer Shamar Springer.
With Carter now leading the team in the absence of Shamar Brooks, the Pride will be buoyed by the success of the Tridents franchise, which recently won the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 title.
“Yes, the team will be motivated from the CPL win, and as you all know, we have a reasonably young squad mixed with experience, and I think my chances in this tournament are quite good.
“I have been encouraging my players to play together as a unit, and I think that is what is required for us to go the next step,” said Carter.
The Pride will be banking on the experience of West Indies representatives Miguel Cummins and Ashley Nurse to lead their charge while young guns Springer, Chemar Holder, and Leniko Boucher are expected to play anchor roles.