Palmer dedicates century to late father
It has been a rollercoaster week for 28-year-old left-handed batsman Paul Palmer Jr, who was the star with the bat for the Jamaica Scorpions in their just concluded West Indies Championship first-round match away to Trinidad and Tobago.
Palmer Jr almost did not make that trip to Trinidad, as initially he wasn’t named in the 13-member squad for the opening encounter. However, illness forced batsman Nkrumah Bonner out and Palmer Jr got a last-minute call-up as a replacement.
The left-hander wasted little time in grasping the opportunity, as he scored 50 in the first innings in a total of 278 and followed that up with a five-hour vigil on the final day to score a brilliant 113 not out in a total of 300 to force a draw and rescue the Scorpions from what seemed like certain defeat.
The Westmorland native was quite elated at getting his second first-class century, which he dedicated to his late father Paul Palmer Sr, who passed away in 2018.
“If I was to dedicate this century to anyone, it would be my late father. He has been my main motivation when it comes to cricket. he was the one to get me into the game and I want to continue to do good things,” said Palmer.
The former Jamaica captain was quick to point out that it was a total team effort that saw them come away with a positive result in Trinidad. However, when asked about his initial exclusion from the squad, Palmer Jr was gracious in his response.
“I must say that I was disappointed at first but I got the chance to be a part of the squad albeit in an unfortunate circumstance, but I am glad I was able to help the team and I am looking to try and be as consistent as possible and just to remember the things that I have done right and replicate that on the field,” he said.
The former St Elizabeth Technical player has been having a rich vein of form, as his last three list ‘A’ innings for the Combined Campuses and Colleges were 50-plus scores in the Super50 Cup late last year. The left-hander credits his good form with the bat to the assistance of his coach at The University of West Indies, Robert Samuels.
“I have been doing a lot of one-on-one sessions with coach Samuels, who has played a big role in my development. The technical aspect of my game has improved and I am prepared more mentally now to deal with my game. I must also add that the weight of the captaincy is no longer on my shoulders, so I can focus more on my game,” added Palmer.
Palmer and the Scorpions will have another tough assignment this weekend at Sabina Park, as they welcome the Andrew Richardson-coached Windward Island Volcanoes, who are coming off a win against the Barbados Pride.