T&T coach wants change in format for top club competition

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC-Trinidad and Tobago coach Kelvin Williams says a shift from a two-day to three-day format in the country’s top club competition could benefit national players in first-class cricket.

“The batting has always been a problem (for T&T),” Williams said in an interview with the Express.

“I can’t point my finger at any particular area. Technically the guys are alright. It is just a matter of them trying to concentrate for a long period of time”.

Last year, T&T were runners-up to Barbados in the Regional Four-Day tournament, reaching the semi-final with three wins and three loses before upsetting Jamaica to reach the final.

Their first-class scores in the games they lost were 179 and 86 against the Windward Islands in the opening match of the season, 109 and 129 against Barbados and 121 and 192 against Jamaica.

In the final, they were dismissed for 110 and 237 as Barbados won by an innings and 22 runs.

“The people in charge have to look at it and maybe try and extend it to a three-day competition ,” said Williams.

“…and that is one way I can think of that we will help the batsmen learn to concentrate for a longer period of time”.

Twelve teams play 11 rounds of two-day games in the National league Premier Division, the country’s top club competition.

“I looked at a couple games yesterday (Saturday) in the Premier Division, which is our top competition and if you look at it, a batsman doesn’t have time to really stay and bat for any long period of time,” he pointed out.

“It is a hustle game. If you play out a maiden over, the next over you want to catch up because of the shortness of a two-day game”.

The national team is playing a final three-day warm-up game this week as part of its preparation for the Regional Four-Day tournament starting this weekend.

“I think what we are looking at are players who can bat for a long period of time. Spending time at the crease is very important,” said Williams.

“We are looking for someone who can bat for sessions and there are a lot of players out there who fit that criteria but it is just for them to get it right in the last preparation match”.

Trinidad and Tobago open their campaign against Windward Islands in the Regional Four Day tournament at Queen’s Oval on March 7th.

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