CPL Captains, Coaches Prepare For Final Games
After a month of big hitting, outstanding fielding and dramatic finishes, the Caribbean Premier League 2014 enters its final stages with four of the six teams remaining.
The Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel will now take on reigning champions the Jamaica Tallawahs in the first play-off match later today (13th August) in Saint Kitts.
CPL 2014 PLAY-OFF WEEK
Wednesday, 13th August - play-off
Jamaica Tallawahs v Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel
Thursday, 14th August - semi-final
Guyana Amazon Warriors v Jamaica/T&T
Saturday, 16th August - final
Barbados Tridents v Guyana/Jamaica/T&T
The winner of that game will play the Guyana Amazon Warriors tomorrow (14th August) for the right to meet the Barbados Tridents in Saturday's final.
"I actually blame (Dwayne) Bravo for us being in this position in the first place by losing to the Hawksbills at the weekend, and I always regain my form when I face him so I am looking forward to the challenge of playing the Red Steel.
"We have the quality to get the job done and I back my team to get the results and come out on top."
On a slightly more serious note, Jamaica coach Mickey Arthur added: "In a tournament this long, you are always going to have a couple of hiccups along the way and we have had ours in the later stages which is not ideal as it can affect confidence levels going forward.
"However, I think the remaining games are going to be very tight. All four teams left in the competition finished on the same points, so every ball will be important in these matches and an event in their own right.
"The team that comes out on top from the semi-finals will be the one that handles the pressure of the situations better."
His opposite number, T & T's Simon Helmot says that he too hopes that his side can put a poor run behind them as quickly as possible for this knockout encounter.
"We are not going into this game in great form, but we are a good team, well led by Dwayne Bravo and I am confident we will demonstrate the type of form and attacking cricket we showed earlier in the tournament.
"The CPL has been a great thing for cricket in the Caribbean and stands up against any of the other T20 competitions in the world, and we have two of its most exciting cricketers in Nicholas Pooran and Evin Lewis so we will be looking to do well and reach the final."
To do that, they will also have to beat Guyana on Thursday, and Roger Harper, the Warriors' coach, says he is ready to take on whichever team prevails.
"I do not mind which team we play - we are concentrating on playing the best cricket we can each day in our practice sessions and ensuring we are preparing well for the matches," he said.
"The quality of the cricket this year in the CPL has been very good and we are seeing real development from young players across the region which bodes well for the future of West Indies cricket."
And a determined Guyana captain Denesh Ramdin added: "We have had a good rest day this week and our minds are now turning to Thursday’s game.
"I am determined to win the game which would take us into the final in good shape."
© Cricket World 2014