Left-arm orthodox spinner Veerasammy Permaul is confident in the ‘new look’ Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) to lift the title for the first time when they take to the field in the 2018 HERO Caribbean Premier League. Permaul, who has been with the team from the first tournament back in 2013, believes that despite not having ‘big name players’ like the other teams, the `family unit’ can defy the odds this time around and land the coveted title.
“I think we got a good team, he said. Over the years we don’t get a lot of big-name players but we do well to get in playoffs and final,” he said.
Looking at the new faces in the team, the Berbician opined “I think we have got a good composition of players.”
The Guyana Amazon Warriors this year, boasts a fresh outfit and a new Head Coach in Johan Botha and Assistant Coach in Rayon Griffith. According to Permaul, the previous persons in those positions “did a good job because over the years we have been getting into the playoffs and finals but it’s just that we never got over the final hurdle.”
The veteran spinner said he welcomed the collaboration of the Botha/Griffith combination, and said that he was excited to work with them. He was also excited about the additional bonus of having all home games played at the Providence National Stadium.
“We got two different coaches and it will be nice to see what difference they bring to the table. Also, we are playing five games at home not to mention all the West Indies players will be available in this year, making it more competitive,” he added.
The fresh faces do not stop at the coaching staff but transcends down to a bunch of vibrant youngsters in the likes of Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer, both of whom are representing the West Indies against Bangladesh as well as Sherfane Rutherford, who announced himself to the world with a belligerent century in the Global T20 Canada League recently.
“We’ve got some exciting young players this year, that’s a big plus for us,” Permaul said of the youngsters while welcoming the likes of Shoaib Malik to the side whom he deemed a consistent performer for the Barbados Tridents and Pakistan over the years.
The left arm spinner noted that his performance is also going to be crucial to the GAW’s title hunt but is backing himself to do well especially at the beginning of the innings.
“I think over the years I’ve done fairly well for the Warriors. I’ve been given the task to open the bowling and also bowling when called on. Hopefully, I can make a bigger contribution to the team winning a first CPL championships,” Permaul declared.
While the GAW camp has been tight lipped on who will assume captaincy of the team, there are a few contenders including Rayad Emrit, who lead the side in previous editions as well as Shoaib Malik, who has lead Pakistan already.
Speaking on this issue, Permaul said: “They both have done a good job, I don’t know who will be the captain this year but whoever gets the job will be well supported by the Warriors family.
Permaul, who also has captained the side previously, indicated that they both perform well over the years and it will be a plus for the GAW to have a captain who is performing well since it lifts the team’s spirits.
The 28-year-old said he wanted to thank the crowds for always being behind the Warriors and expressed his delight in playing in front of them for five matches this year challenging the Warriors unit to bring it home for the fans.
“We always get a full house and the support is always wonderful. I know the fans never give up on us. They always back and believe in us. It’s time we get a championship for them,” Permaul said.
The CPL begins on August 8 and runs until September 16 with Guyana hosting seven matches inclusive of two playoffs.
Photo: Flashback! Veerasammy Permaul receives a Man- of-the-Match award from Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo after a match at Providence last year.