Jamaicans ready to line up pink ball
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's captain Tamar Lambert says he and his troops are looking forward to training with the new pink balls, which they will use in their next WICB Four-day Championship fixture against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) at the Providence Stadium in Guyana, in a day/night encounter.
Lambert, who has so far guided Jamaica to three wins from as many matches, and has put the team on course to accomplish what no other Jamaican team has done before - win the competition three years in a row - says they will use the balls in their first training session on Monday.
"So far the reviews have generally been good as the teams and players who used it said it stood up for the 90 overs per day," said Lambert, in assessing the invention which is being tried as means of reviving Test cricket via day/night matches.
"There are some players, however, who say it's difficult to pick up the shiny side and rough side of it as we are able to do with the red ball, and in the end this could be the primary challenge that we will face."
Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana were the first teams to use the pink ball during their second-round clash at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
Trinidadian Lendl Simmonds, after getting used to the ball, scored 109 in just under four hours on the first day, while his wicketkeeper compatriot, Denesh Ramdin, stroked 109 not out on the second day to help his team to first innings honours and an eventual draw.
"After I got used to the pink ball things got better. It is just like any other ball really, but mentally you just needed a few overs to get accustomed," Simmons had said.
"It felt really great to get a century, and it was a bit special to be the first batsman to get one playing with the pink ball," he added.
Jamaica, who defeated the Windward and Leeward Islands and Guyana in their first three games, in addition to training with the balls, could get some valuable practice during a three-day squad match next week.
The team is presently on a two-week break after drawing a bye during this weekend's fourth round of matches, and the competition taking a break next weekend.
Jamaica lead the six-team championship with maximum 36 points, 15 more than Barbados and 24 ahead of the CCC and the Windwards, who are in joint third position. Trinidad and Tobago (nine), the Leewards (six) and Guyana (three) round off the standings.