By Calvin Roberts in Barbados
Compliments of Igloo Ice Cream, GT&T, Noble House Seafoods, Papis Supermarket and Oasis Water
After their disastrous showing in the first round of the West Indies Cricket Board-sponsored regional four-day competition where they lost to the Windward Islands by an innings and 167 runs inside three days, the national cricketers face a tough examination from the Combined Campuses and Colleges team in their second round game which starts tomorrow here.
Director of Sports at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus in Barbados, Roland Butcher told Stabroek Sports that careful planning is in place for tomorrow’s game between the two sides at the 3W’s Oval.
“We are not looking at any one player, as we would not be going against a single player but a team. Therefore, we will be doing some careful planning for a team, especially one who suffered a defeat in their last game, “he declared.
Last year’s encounter between the two sides at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence, ended in a draw.
In that game Guyana, led by West Indies middle order batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s unbeaten 207, scored 421.
They then dismissed their opponents for 151 with debutant spinner Devendra Bishoo claiming 5-29.
This time around there is no Chanderpaul, no Ramnaresh Sarwan and no Sewnarine Chattergoon.
The 55-year-old Butcher, who was born in the parish of St. Phillip here in Barbados, but played three tests and the same amount of one day internationals for England, said that the compilation of the CCC team for this year’s tournament is very good.
“We have a good squad, but only 13 can be selected for the matches. We went about selecting the best 13 for the first three games. Most of the players have not come across a schedule such as this one for this tournament, so they may be affected mentally and physically.
“But in the event that such occurs, we have players whom we can rely on. There is young Kyle Corbin and even Jason Parris who are both eager for their chance to go out there and showcase their talent to the region.
“Our squad this year will be led by Simon Jackson, who will receive worthy support from the experienced Floyd Reifer, Rommel Currency and Nikolai Parris, who are all capable of tearing into any attack on their day.”
Reifer, 36, will be bringing to the table, a first class record of 111 matches which saw him accumulating 5,687 runs at an average of 33.45 with 10 centuries and Butcher feels that he still has a lot to offer cricket before he calls it a day.
“Contrary to what people may say about Floyd, I think he still has a lot in him. His experience would be indispensable in this team and with his abilities coupled with some other players, we can definitely be a hard nut to crack in this tournament,” said Butcher.
“Our bowling can be a handful too, with Jamal Noel who took 6-101 against Guyana in last year’s tournament, and was voted the best young fast bowler, Kevin Mc Lean, Omar Phillips, Kavesh Kantasingh and Barbados’ very own Ryan Austin all in the mix up. When you add Jason Bennett, who is out due to injury to that list, our opposing batsmen would definitely be in some spot of bother.”
Butcher stated that the team had an eye on this tournament since last year and a lot of work was put in, in preparation for it, with a view of coming out amongst the top three teams.
“We began our preparation for this tournament since last year. A lot of work was put in not only by the players, but the technical staff. We had a few practice matches, coupled with our practice sessions, but we can’t wait to get out there on Friday (tomorrow).
“We know that the Guyanese will be looking to redeem themselves following their defeat to the Windward Islands in their opening encounter and this being our opening game, we would not be leaving any room for complacency, as we are looking to start on the right foot and get our noses in front” said Butcher.
“We have a team that can compete with the others and this year, we are looking to complete our 12 rounds of matches, with a position in the top three. We will not be taking any team for granted, but rather go out there and play positive cricket.”
Guyana is without a point in the competition while this will be the CCC team’s first match of the double round competition.