CAPTAIN of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force Yannick Ottley is hoping his team can take full advantage of home court, as they will play their first three matches at home to start the Regional Four Day season.
The Red Force will face Windward Islands in Round One starting tomorrow, followed by Barbados Pride in Round Two and Leeward Islands Hurricanes in Round Three – all at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.
Ottley said starting strong at home is important saying, “It’s about defending your home court, doing well and actually taking as much points as you can from those home games and also doing well abroad in order to win the tournament. Our home court here is the Oval and we looking to come out good starting (tomorrow).”
Ottley is confident the Red Force can make a run for the title this year, a title that has eluded them for 10 years. “Definitely (we could make a run for the title this year). It’s like a clean slate this season, we have a bunch of guys that have been together for a while. During the preparation we were preparing mentally to win these two tournaments (Four Day and Super50) so this game here on Friday is where we start.”
The Red Force’s opening match is a day/night match using the pink ball and the captain said his team did get some time to practice with the ball. “We had a trial game with it (pink ball) and a few sessions with it. Just like anything else it’s about getting suited to the conditions and assessing what is there.”
There are two Barbadians in Kyle Hope and Roshon Primus in the squad, along with Jamaican Sheldon Cottrell and Ottley says the players are gelling with the team. “Kyle Hope is back and we also have Sheldon Cottrell and Roshon Primus. It is good to have these guys with a different culture. Cottrell brings a lot of aggressive culture with his pace as well so it will good to incorporate these guys with the Trini guys. We have a well rounded squad and also there is depth so that will make us go for the title as well.”
The Red Force batsmen have fell short last season but Ottley is hoping the batsmen can transfer the form they showed during the trial matches. “It starts from there (trial matches). It was good to see about five centurions during the trial matches, so it will good for us to transfer that form into the tournament.”
Akiel Cooper (104), Jyd Goolie (107 not out), Jeremy Solozano (103 not out), Ottley (101) and Isaiah Rajah (127 not out) all made centuries in the trial matches. Goolie, Solozano and Ottley are in the 13-man squad for the opening match bowling off at 3 pm tomorrow.