Sat | Sep 19, 2020

Tallawahs hunt CPL redemption - Jamaican franchise heads off to tournament with high hopes

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2020 | 12:23 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica Tallawahs players celebrate the fall of a St Lucia wicket in Match 7 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League at Sabina Park in August 2018.
Jamaica Tallawahs players celebrate the fall of a St Lucia wicket in Match 7 of the Hero Caribbean Premier League at Sabina Park in August 2018.

Following the team’s poor showing in last year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 competition, newly appointed captain of the Jamaica Tallawahs, Rovman Powell, says his players are heading into this month’s tournament in full confidence.

The tournament will be held in Trinidad and Tobago from August 18 to September 10 and the Tallawahs will be looking for significant improvement on last season’s last-place finish in the six-team competition.

“The last couple of seasons haven’t been good, but it is now for us to build a unit, to build a team and to get players that want to play for the Tallawahs,” said Powell. “I think we have started that process so it is just for us to pull it together and once you put a team together in a competition, then the sky is the limit.”

If they are to manage more than the two wins they secured last year, the Tallawahs will have to do so without former captain Christopher Gayle, who opted out of this year’s competition after he had signed to the St Lucia Zouks after he was not retained by the Jamaica-based franchise.

The Tallawahs have, however, acquired the services of exciting all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who was released by the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, along with Pakistani batsman Asif Ali.

CORRECT THE MISTAKES

“I think last year the bowling struggled badly and so it is for us now to correct our mistakes that we made last year and put some little things in place because all three aspects of the cricket from last year have to improve,” Powell said.

The hard-hitting middle-order batsman underscored that the absence of Gayle is a major blow to the team, but they have put that behind them going into this year’s competition.

“Everybody is upbeat but Chris Gayle is a big loss for us,” Powell said. “We can’t dwell on it because we still have to be professional about it and go about it the right way.”

“Each and everyone is looking to make their name and when persons go into a competition looking to make their names, they generally put their best foot forward and that is all we need,” he said.

Powell, who along with the rest of the team left the island yesterday, underlined that he is honoured to be given the task of leading the Tallawahs into this year’s competition.

“It is a privilege because there is a lot of responsibility surrounding captaining the Tallawahs and it is something that I am looking forward to,” Powell said. “I am feeling excited for this opportunity because the task is a big one, but it is something that is manageable.”

Meanwhile, Jermaine Blackwood and Ramaal Lewis have been replaced by Andre McCarthy and Jeavor Royal in the squad.

The other members of the squad are Glenn Phillips, Andre Russell, Chadwick Walton, Oshane Thomas, Nkrumah Bonner, Fidel Edwards, Veerasammy Permaul, Ryan Persaud, Nicholas Kirton and Preston McSween.

The Tallawahs will bow into action on August 19 when they tackle the Daren Sammy-led St Lucia Zouks at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. They will then take on the hosts Trinbago Knight Riders the following day.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com