All-rounder Jason Holder expects the curtain-raising mega-clash between the Barbados Tridents and Guyana Amazon Warriors to set the tone for a riveting 2015 Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and says he is champing at the bit to be a part of the third edition of the exciting Twenty20 tournament which starts next month.
The contest between the Tridents and Amazon Warriors, set to be played under lights on June 20th at Kensington Oval, will be a repeat of last year’s final at Warner Park in St Kitts, when Tridents came away with an eight-run victory under the Duckworth/Lewis method in a rain-affected affair.
Chasing 153 for the win, the Warriors were 107 for four in the 16th over, when rain ended the game abruptly.
“Obviously the way the final ended last year, a lot of people would actually like to see the game played out to a finish,” Holder said.
“A few Guyanese supporters have been saying that had the game finished, Amazon Warriors would have won the game, so this year, the rivalry between Tridents and Amazon Warriors will be pretty intense and no doubt we would like to confirm to people that we would have beaten Guyana, even if the game had finished.”
He added: “No doubt Guyana will be looking to make amends for that hard loss so I think the opening day should be a cracker and one that I am really looking forward to be a part of.”
Sell-out crowds are expected for Limacol CPL which runs from June 20th to July 26th, and features some of the biggest names in international T20 cricket. Tickets are available now on www.cplt20.com and the Kensington Oval box office will open on Wednesday, May 27th.
The 23-year-old Holder, the West Indies one-day captain and a senior player in the Tridents set-up, believes the reigning champions are more than capable of successfully defending their title.
“I think we have a well-balanced side. What I like about the Tridents is that we didn’t go for the marquee players. We stuck to very solid cricketers where you already know what to expect from them and they also blend right into our team environment,” he pointed out.
“I think we have a well-balanced side in terms of our batting. We have plenty of batsmen who have not only done well in our domestic cricket in the Caribbean but guys like Dilshan Munaweera who did well for us in the Champions League last year.
“Shoaib Malik has obviously done well for us as well and obviously he has a very good international record. There’s also Robin Petersen and Justin Ontong so I’m very pleased with the make-up of our side. It’s just for us to execute now and when we get into the tournament, we have to start well and hopefully we can peak at the right time and lift the title again,” Holder pointed out.
Last year, Holder turned in some handy performances, producing a few late cameos with the bat and a couple of incisive spells with the ball. He is now hoping to combine both aspects to drive success for Tridents.
“My biggest thing is just to contribute positively to winning. We really want to defend our championship this year and whatever is required for me to contribute to that, is all I am really asking myself,” he explained.
“It’s just for me to execute under the pressure situations and if I can squeeze in a few more overs at the death that would be pleasing for me, and also if I get the opportunity to come up the order and have a good knock, that’s something I really look forward to doing.”
The Limacol CPL features six franchises – Barbados Tridents, Jamaica Tallawahs, T&T Red Steel, St Lucia Zouks, Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Kitts & Nevis Patriots – contesting 33 games.