Allrounder Marlon Richards has taken over as T&T Red Force captain, ahead of tomorrow’s key clash in Round 9 of the PCL Regional 4-Day Tournament against Barbados at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown.
Richards was given the captain’s armband after previous skipper Kyle Hope was called up for a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) camp to play for the President’s XI team to play against the touring Pakistanis, further weakening an already struggling T&T team. The Red Force are bottom of the standings with 63.8 points while their counterparts Barbados are in second position with a distant 99.2 points. Guyana Jaguars leads the six-team standings with 109.8 points.
Yesterday, T&T Cricket Board’s (TTCB) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Suruj Ragoonath said the team’s struggles stem from a number of factors that range from its inability to perform well as unit this year to its poor history in the longer version of the game.
“As a team, we just have not performed well. I also think that the players are not showing enough fight on the field of play,” Ragoonath said, pointing out also that the T&T team has not had a good history in the longer version of the game, winning just five times since 1968.
In the last meeting between the teams at the Queen’s Park Oval last year, the Red Force were beaten. This time however a number of changes have been made to strengthen the team, including the call-up of newcomers Tion Webster, a medium pace all rounder, wicketkeeper and opening batsman Amir Jangoo, middle order batsman Akiel Cooper and Ewart Nicholson.
Their inclusion in the team comes on the heels of the sacking of seasoned campaigner Rayad Emrit, an ex-captain and allrounder, out-of-form opening batsman Jeremy Solozano and pacer Anderson Phillips. The T&T team also comprises Kjorn Ottley, Yannick Cariah, Imran Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Khary Pierre and Rishon Primus.
Ragoonath said it will be an uphill task for the Red Force to just compete with their arch-rivals based on their current form.
“A really big effort will be required of the boys to compete against the Bajans. But having said that, it will not be an impossible task for us to beat them, as it is just how sports can be,” Ragoonath said.
RED FORCE SQUAD
Marlon Richards (captain), Kjorn Ottley, Isaiah Rajah, Akeil Cooper, Yannic Cariah, Roshon Primus, Tion Webster, Imran Khan, Bryan Charles, Ewart Nicholson, Sheldon Cottrell, Khary Pierre, Amir Jangoo.
TEAMS M W L D PTS
Guyana Jaguars 8 4 1 3 109.8
Barbados Pride 8 3 0 5 99.2
Jamaica Scorpions 8 4 4 1 95.2
Windwards Volcanoes 8 2 4 2 74.2
Leewards Hurricanes 8 2 4 2 66.4
T&T Red Force 8 2 5 1 63.8