Williams anxious for match practice for champions

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – Kelvin Williams said blame it on the rain if Trinidad & Tobago failed to repeat as Caribbean Twenty20 champions next year. The reigning champions have had their preparations disrupted by bad weather and Williams said the players were vastly short of work from where he would have liked.

“I have nine players who have gotten some matches, two will be coming back from playing competitive cricket at the Big Bash League and the other five guys I must ensure play competitive cricket as soon as possible,” he told the Trinidad & Tobago Newsday newspaper.

Williams said that the T20 Festival to be staged from December 28 to 30 at Guaracara Park and involving the national side, two composite local teams and arch-rivals Barbados will be crucial to getting his side in the right frame of mind for the regional tournament.

“It is important for us to have match practice so we can gauge where we are in our preparation, so we can work and improve the areas in which we are coming up short,” he said.

“It is very important that we play some cricket. I have guys who have not played much cricket in recent weeks, and it is not ideal going into a tournament with a squad and judging them on their past experience.

“The T20 Festival will address this area and it will allow us to make the necessary adjustments.”

Williams has also given a thumbs-up to new captain Denesh Ramdin. The West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman replaced long-standing leader Daren Ganga, who stepped down after failing to lead the team to titles in their last three tournaments.

“Denesh has been around for a long time and he has been the vice-captain of the team,” said Williams.

“He also captained the team before and I expect a smooth transition for him. Obviously, it will be different compared to Daren who was the captain for the last 10 years. I don’t think people will notice that Daren is not leading the team.”

Williams added: “There is the fear that our tactics have become predictable, so yes we will be looking at changing things up. You will however, have to wait and see what the new tactics are.

“I think what can beat us is complacency because we have a very strong squad to win this tournament. This is one of the most powerful T20 squads ever assembled by T&T. Anything short of victory will be considered a failure.”

T&T have been drawn in Group-A with Guyana, Leeward Islands, Windward Islands and ICC Associate side Canada.
They open the tournament against Windward Islands on January 9 at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.

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