Jamaica off to Carib T20
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Captain Tamar Lambert says Jamaica's team is far more prepared mentally and physically than in previous years, and as such he is looking forward to performing well and winning the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament.
Jamaica, who will open their account at the two-week tournament tomorrow against joint hosts Trinidad and Tobago at Queen's Park Oval, will be seeking to win the tournament after three failed attempts.
They finished fourth in the inaugural staging, third in the second instalment, and second last season after going down by 63 runs to Trinidad in the final.
"For the past six or seven weeks we have done a lot of work, and I think in comparison to previous years we are more mentally and physically ready for the challenge," said Lambert, who along with other members of the team left the country yesterday.
"It is just for us to go out there and show what we have learnt in practice, and, in the end, demonstrate to Jamaica that we can play good T20 cricket by winning the tournament."
The two-week tournament, which will be hosted jointly by Trinidad and Tobago and St Lucia, will see Jamaica parading a number of seasoned campaigners in the likes of Nikita Miller, André Russell, Krishmar Santokie, Danza Hyatt, and Lambert.
The team, however, will be without Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Carlton Baugh Jr.
Gayle and Samuels are currently participating in the Australia Big Bash League and Baugh Jr was omitted from the national trials due to a rift with his club, Melbourne.
The dispute resulted in Baugh not participating in the Jamaica Twenty20 championship.
The national selection panel has selected a number up-and-coming players, including recent national Under-19 representatives, 18-year-old wicketkeeper Aldane Thomas, and 19-year-old opener John Campbell.
SQUAD: Tamar Lambert (captain), David Bernard Jr (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, André Russell, Danza Hyatt, André McCarthy, Jamie Merchant, Nikita Miller, Odean Brown, Krishmar Santokie, Yannick Elliott, Sheldon Cotterell, Aldane Thomas, John Campbell.