PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – National captain Daren Ganga expects Trinidad & Tobago to qualify for the main draw of the Champions League Twenty20.
The national team leaves today for India, where will contest the qualifying stages of the competition against Ruhuna Rhinos of Sri Lanka and Leicestershire of England.
Three teams will advance from the qualifiers, and T&T, beaten finalist in the inaugural tournament two years ago, felt strongly that they will own one of those spaces. “As T20 cricket goes, it’s very difficult for us to predict results before we play,” said Ganga on the eve of his team’s departure.
“Sometimes our best efforts are not good enough for the opposition. and that’s the nature of sport.”
He added: “We try to leave everything on the field, meaning that we give our best effort on the field.
“What I could say is that we have worked very hard as a team to prepare. For the last two months, every single player in this room has dedicated their lives, and their time towards preparing for this challenge. We firmly believe that we will play good cricket.”
T&T will fly to Hyderabad – via London and the Indian city of Bangalore – before playing a warm-up against the Indian Premier League side Kolkata Knight Riders.
They begin the qualifying competition against Ruhuna next Monday, and tackle Leicestershire the following day.
“With just a day to go before we head off to India, the players would not have been focussed on training,” said T&T Operations Manager Omar Khan.
“I think they are all just anxious to get to India, and get down to business. We gave them the day off [on Monday] to attend to their personal business and from [Wednesday] it is serious cricket business.” He said: “We are hoping to settle quickly in India and hit the ground running. We have quality players and once they play intelligent cricket, I see no reason us not doing very well in the tournament.
“Looking at our team, we have a number of seasoned T20 players and this would prove to be an advantage for us.”
T&T are without key all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo. They have chosen to play for their respective IPL franchises, Mumbai Indians and IPL champions Chennai Super Kings.
Daren Ganga (captain), Samuel Badree, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Sherwin Ganga, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Mohammed, Dave Mohammed, Sunil Narine, William Perkins, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons