Bennett to assess team at Festival
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
National senior cricket team coach, Junior Bennett, says he will be using the upcoming Jamaica Cricket Festival to assess the country's readiness for a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Twenty20 tournament later this year, should the regional body follow through on its plans.
The Festival, which will include ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers Ireland, associate member Canada and the West Indies, will take place at Sabina Park, Chedwin Park and the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, starting on Saturday.
"It is my understanding that sometime later this year there is expected to be a regional Twenty20 tournament, so the Twenty20s should provide us with an opportunity to assess where we are in terms of readiness," said Bennett.
Promoting the game
The Festival, which is being organised by the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) as part of its initiative to promote the game locally, as well as provide preparation for the West Indies ahead of the World Twenty20 championship which will be held in Barbados, St Lucia and St Kitts, will include a series of one-day internationals, Twenty20s and a one-off three-day fixture.
Jamaica will open their account against Ireland on Saturday at Chedwin Park in the three-day fixture, before facing the Irish again in a 50-over game next wek Wednesday (April 7).
They will face Canada the following day in another 50-over fixture, before rounding out their schedule with back-to-back Twenty20s against Ireland and Canada, respectively, at the Trelawny Multi-purpose Stadium, on the weekend of April 10 and 11.
The second Twenty20 will form part of a double-header, with the West Indies down to face Ireland in the feature.
The teams will then turn their attention to Sabina Park between April 13 and 18 for two 50 overs and two Twenty20 matches.
Ireland are slated to arrive today and the West Indies and Canada next week Tuesday.
"I think it's a good initiative. We just hope that spectators will come out and support it," said Bennett.
Meanwhile, the JCA issued a release yesterday stating its squad for the Festival. It includes three members of the successful regional Under 19 team - Akeem Dewar, Jermaine Blackwood and Kemar Marshall.
SQUAD: Tamar Lambert (captain), Danza Hyatt, Brenton Parchment, Donovan Pagon, Carlton Baugh Jr., Horace Miller, Nkrumah Bonner, Wavell Hinds, Andre Russell, Andrew Richardson, Bevon Brown, Odean Brown, David Bernard Jr., John Ross Campbell and Krishmar Santokie.