Emrit does not expect the captaincy controversy from the previous week to affect the morale of the team. “The players excited to start the campaign at home,” he said.
“Barbados has been our nemesis for however long. They have been our toughest opponents over the last few seasons and playing against them at home is a good start for us. It will be in the back of our minds that they got the better of us for a while now, but I think with the experience we have and the composition of the team, we can give them a good fight,” the T&T skipper added.
The key to success for Emrit is the team’s batting which will be strengthened with the inclusion of West Indies players Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin and veteran batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan.
“We have to bat well. Our batting has let us down every time we played against Barbados so I think once we bat well I can see no reason we can’t beat them,” he added.
Emrit noted that while Simmons is match fit, Sarwan had a minor niggle ahead of the game.
Barbados captain Kraigg Brathwaite on the other hand is wary of the T&T threat especially at the Oval, however he is still confident his experienced side will come out on top.
“I can see this team doing quite well. I think we have a strong team for the first game and it is just about the fellas going out there and working hard and getting together as a team,” said Brathwaite.
Their bowling includes off-spinner Ashley Nurse and pacers Carlos Brathwaite and Miguel Cummins who all played key roles in Barbados’ dominance over T&T in recent times.
The 2014-2015 season will see the reintroduction of the home-and-away round robin format which will see teams vying for the Headley/Weekes Trophy.
The new points system introduced in the previous season will also continue with teams getting 12 points for a win, six for a tie and three for draw.
Bonus points will also be awarded only for performances in the first 110 overs of each first innings.
Teams can get up to five batting points and up to three bowling points.
T&T Red Force—Rayad Emrit (captain), Jason Mohammed
(vice-captain), Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Yannick Ottley, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Denesh Ramdin, Akeal Hosein, Imran Khan, Shannon Gabriel, Marlon Richards, Bryan Charles, Yannic Cariah
Barbados Pride: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Ryan Hinds, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Ashley Nurse, Omar Phillips, Kemar Roach, Dwayne Smith, Jomel Warrican.