PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC-All-rounder Andre Russell says he can’t wait to line up again with the Jamaica Tallawahs in an effort to help propel his Kingston-based franchise into the final of the Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The 25-year-old has emerged as the hero for the Tallawahs, producing match-winning knocks and incisive spells to help reverse the fortunes of his side, at one staged in danger of not qualifying for the round of four.
“I’ve been working hard on my batting and bowling so I am not really surprised by form at the moment. I’m bowling good yorkers, I’m hitting the ball cleanly and I’m waiting for my type of balls to dispatch so I’m happy,” Russell said.
“We’ve qualified for the semi-finals but we want to keep up that winning momentum so we just want to take it step by step.”
Russell announced himself with a scintillating unbeaten 42, an innings which fired Tallawahs to a seven wicket victory over Antigua Hawksbills, in their second match of the inaugural tournament.
In the next match against Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, he snatched the two key wickets of Adrian Barath and skipper Dwayne Bravo at critical moments in the game, as the Tallawahs stole a narrow five-run win in the last over.
Subsequently, stroke-filled, unbeaten knocks of 47 and 27 also saw Tallawahs post important triumphs and Russell says his performances were testament to the determination he has shown since losing his spot in the West Indies team.
“I’m feeling good. I got dropped from the West Indies team but I know what I have to do and I know how important it is for me to work harder than everyone else,” said Russell, who last played for West Indies on Zimbabwe’s tour of the Caribbean in March.
“As an all-rounder you have to be extra fit. I’ve been doing a lot of work. I’ve played in England for Worcestershire and I’ve been doing a lot of running and stuff like that.”
The Tallawahs’ surge inform saw them finish second in the standings behind Guyana Amazon Warriors, and set up a highly anticipated clash with the Tridents on Friday.
Russell, who has played 34 One-Day Internationals and 15 Twenty20s for West Indies, said much of the Tallawahs’ success had been as a result of the senior players and the atmosphere they had created in the camp.