André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Captain of Jamaica's misfiring Twenty20 cricket team, Tamar Lambert, admitted frustration at the team's latest disappointment, but defended his captaincy after their recent setback at the Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament.
Jamaica lost by six wickets to Guyana in Saturday's play-off final, after an unbeaten 122-run innings by star batsman Chris Gayle powered them to 183-6. However, insipid bowling and a determined knock of 88 by Guyana's Christopher Barnwell propelled the unfancied Guyanese to 187-4, leaving the Jamaicans to lick their wounds after another unsuccessful T20 campaign.
Lambert, regarded as one of the most successful four-day and one-day captains in the region, was open to an appraisal of his performance at the helm of the team in the Twenty20 format, but believes his record isn't as miserable as his critics suggest.
"I will say [to the critics] that this is the second time that I have captained a Jamaica T20 team and we have been to the semi-final two times," said Lambert, who returned to the island yesterday with the majority of the team. "However, I think we have good senior players in the team that can captain any Jamaica team.
"Moving forward, we have to look at it (captaincy), but I am always happy captaining my country and I always want to go out there and play to win. Unfortunately, we weren't able to make it to the final and take home the bacon, but as I said before, we have other competitions to look forward to and we have to move on," Lambert added.
Lack of t20 experience
The 31-year-old stockily built skipper, who has led Jamaica to five straight West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Four-Day Championship titles, expressed frustration with the team's continued failure to win the regional Twenty20 tournament, which will next be contested in a different format; and pointed to a comparatively limited T20 schedule locally as a contributing factor.
"I am definitely frustrated," Lambert admitted. "We knew that this was the last opportunity for us to win it as a Jamaica team so we are disappointed, but cricket goes on and we now have to look forward to the Super50 and the four-day competition."
He added: "I think a lack of T20 cricket has contributed. We just started playing T20 the last three years now and the other teams have been playing for quite a number of years, so sometimes when we find ourselves in situations, we don't know how to deal with it."
Lambert has been captaining cricket teams since he started playing the game at Spanish Town Primary. He led his alma mater, Jonathan Grant, to titles at the Under-14 and Under-16 levels, but was on the receiving end of three losses in the Sunlight Cup final.
In addition to his regional four-day successes at the helm of the Jamaica team, Lambert has also lifted two Super50 Championship titles.