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Kemar Roach, the Barbados fast bowler, has issued a warning to opposing teams in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s Caribbean T20 Tournament. He has promised that the Bajans will be all fired up when they take to the field in Zone B alongside Guyana, Windward Islands and Combined Campuses & Colleges. Zone A includes Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Leeward Islands and Canada.
Barbados open against CCC on Friday, July 23 at 8 pm, followed by a clash with the Windwards on Sunday, July 25 at 6 pm – both matches at Kensington Oval. They then move on to Trinidad and face the Guyanese on Thursday, July 29 at 4 pm at Queen’s Park Oval.
“The Bajans will be firing in this tournament…we will be firing on all cylinders. It is a big opportunity for all the members of the team to step up and represent the country. We have a very good chance of going all the way. Playing at home at Kensington Oval will be great for us and we want to do it for the people. We have a number of very good bowlers and good allrounders as well. Once the batting clicks and puts some good scores on the board, I am confident we can go all the way,” said the 22-year-old.
“Our bowling is our strength and we have a lot of variety in the attack. We have options. We will have a lot of home support … Bajans love their cricket and I want to urge the people to come out and support the tournament. It’s Crop Over time and once the music is playing, I can guarantee the people will come out and have a great time at the matches. The Caribbean T20 is new and it will be a chance for the players to showcase their skills and the crowds to get involved as well.”
Roach and all-rounder Dwayne Smith are the two players in the Barbados team who have experienced a taste of the Indian Premier League. Both are members of the Deccan Chargers franchise. The squad also includes tall left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn, who is an outstanding T20 bowler.
There is a huge incentive to win the Caribbean T20, with the leading Caribbean team going on to represent the West Indies at the Airtel Champions League in South Africa in September.
“It would be a great opportunity for any Caribbean team to make it to the Champions League. Trinidad and Tobago went last year and they did really well, playing an exciting brand of cricket. We in the Barbados team would love to make it this time around. It’s a huge incentive, but first we must win the Caribbean T20 so that is the focus of everyone in the team right now.”
The format for the Caribbean T20 Tournament will be two groups of four teams. There will be a round-robin stage in each group – each team will play three matches – with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the semi-finals. The winners of the semi-finals will advance to final while the losing semi-finalists will play a third-place play-off. The matches in Barbados will be played on July 22 to 25 and the matches in Trinidad will be played on July 28 to 31, with August 1 as the reserve day for the finals.
ESPN and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have reached an agreement for the broadcast of the Caribbean T20 and over 61 millions fans will see the tournament. In the Caribbean, fans will be able to view all the matches LIVE on the two ESPN Caribbean networks ESPN and ESPN2, while highlights will be available the following day on Caribbean Media Corporation stations.
Squad: Ryan Hinds (captain), Jason Hinds, Alcindo Holder, Kevin Stoute, Larry Babb, Sulieman Benn, Jonathan Carter, Kirk Edwards, Kemar Roach, Carlo Morris, Dale Richards, Ashley Nurse, Dwayne Smith, Javon Searles; Desmond Haynes (Manager), Emmerson Trotman (Coach), Vasbert Drakes (Assistant Coach), Jacqui King-Mowatt (Physiotherapist)