T&T's Emrit ready for Super50
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):
Captain Rayad Emrit is hoping that with an enhanced side for the Super50, Trinidad and Tobago can win the competition and lift the gloom surrounding their start to the four-day season.
Trinidad and Tobago Red Force languish one from bottom in the six-team standings on 24 points, after a terrible start to the revamped WICB Professional Cricket League.
However, with champion off-spinner Sunil Narine, seamers Ravi Rampaul, Shannon Gabriel and Kevin Cooper, along with leg-spinner Samuel Badree, expected to be available for the Super50 campaign, Emrit is hoping for a turnaround in Red Steel's fortunes.
"The guys are preparing well and there are a lot of senior guys back in the team preparing for this tournament and if they are available obviously they will be into the team," Emrit told the Trinidad Express newspaper.
"The likes of Cooper, Narine, Rampaul, Shannon should be back and Badree is in the squad as well. Hopefully, these guys will be fit and they can bring some of their experience to the team."
T&T have endured miserable form in the four-day tournament. They drew with Barbados at home, with rain helping them stave off defeat in the opening round and then easily beat tournament doormat Leeward Islands by six wickets.
However, losses to Jamaica and Guyana Jaguars, both coming at Queen's Park Oval, saw them limp into the Christmas break in bad shape.
"In the four-day tournament, we did not have the results we wanted in the four games we had so far, but the Super50 is different and we are focused on that now," Emrit pointed out.
"It is a limited overs competition and it is the shorter format that the Trinidad and Tobago team seems more comfortable with."
T&T reached the final of the Super50 tournament earlier this year, after finishing second in Group B. However, they went down to Barbados by 17-runs in the championship game, despite being labelled favourites.
Emrit identified inconsistent batting as the root of T&T's problem and said this needed to be improved for the upcoming campaign.
"We had probably our best team in the Regional Super50 this year and we fell short because of our batting again. We keep saying the same thing over and over but hopefully we can get the batting right this time," said the all-rounder.
"Our batters need to put runs on the board in the competition. We come to trials and we score a lot of runs because we are accustomed to the bowlers but we need to go out there on the regional scene and put runs on the board."
The Super50 runs from January 15-25 in Trinidad and the sister island of Tobago.