Malik ready to start the “biggest party in sport”

Let the party begin! Shoaib Malik (left) and Carlos Brathwaite shake hands before they showdown at Providence tonight

Guyana Amazon Warriors captain Shoaib Malik is ready to start the biggest party in sport as he kicks off the 2018 HERO Caribbean Premier League (CPL) today against St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Providence National Stadium.

At the pre-match conference yesterday, Malik spoke of the sessions they had prior to the match and said that it is now time for them to “show up”, calling on his senior and local players who are accustomed to the conditions to step up.

“We had a few hard sessions and we did really well now it’s time to show up. It’s now the responsibility from the senior players now especially those who have played here and the local boys. It’s very important for any franchise if your local players do well you end up on the right win and I think it’s time now to start the biggest party and it’s good to start on home conditions,” Malik said

St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots Head Coach Donovan Miller

Malik pointed out that the increase to five overseas players will be beneficial to West Indies Cricket but mentioned the likes of Shimron Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford as two of the bright young prospects in the side, indicating that he has high expectations of them.

“The increase of five overseas players it’s not just for us it’s for all the franchises. Overseas cricketers, I think, bring a lot of experience with them and I think it’s good for West Indies Cricket for them to share their experience and locally I must mention these two names, they are very talented Hetmyer and Rutherford and I have very high expectations from them. The way I’ve seen them play in practice games they are very confident and I think it’s good to play with something different with the management deciding to play five overseas let’s see how it goes, “Malik stated.

Head coach of the Warriors, Johan Botha also

Guyana Amazon Warriors Head Coach Johan Botha

called the training a success and said that he hoped the players are accustomed.

“I think it’s gone really well so far yesterday we had our full squad on deck so that was nice, they guys sort of come in the last four or five days. Everyone had a really good head up and got used to conditions especially the heat and we are just looking forward to getting out there for the real stuff now,” Botha said.

Patriots’ Head Coach, Donovan Miller said the team has had a good start to its preparation with some of the players  who haven’t been playing much cricket benefiting from a one-week camp back in St. Kitts.

West Indies T20 skipper and Patriots all-rounder, Carlos Brathwaite, weighed in stating that his side last year was not heavily reliant on the top two of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis.

“I wouldn’t say we were over reliant it’s just two world class players came to the fore at one and two for the first 13 overs and it wasn’t much the others could do after that. We had a few changes from last year and hopefully we could go one step further this year. We are stuck with quality players and if some don’t replicate last year then someone will put their hands up,” Brathwaite said.

Brathwaite has never played in Guyana during CPL despite playing in the last five editions.

He, however, summed up that the conditions should  favour slow bowling. Despite that, he does not see Warriors having the advantage but rather both teams using that condition, noting the quality slow bowlers in his side.

“Funny I’ve played all five CPL and never actually played CPL in Guyana so it’s unchartered territory for me but traditionally Guyana is a bit slower and turns a bit more which matches their style of play to a tee.

“So for us we will try to adopt to that and we have some good spinners in the team Hayden Walsh, Sandeep [Lamichhame], [Anton] Devcich can roll his arm over as well so I think as much as it suited to them it is suited for us as well and just who played better on the day,” Brathwaite said.

The game starts at 18:00h with the television broadcast having a one hour delay.

GUYANA AMAZON WARRIORS: Sohail Tanvir, Shoaib Malik, Chadwick Walton, Chris Green, Rayad Emrit, Imran Tahir, Jason Mohammed, Luke Ronchi, Veerasammy Permaul, Roshon Primus, Shimron Hetmyer, Devendra Bishoo, Gajanand Singh, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul, Saurabh Netravalkar and Akshaya Persaud.

ST. KITTS AND NEVIS PATRIOTS: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Ben Cutting, Carlos Brathwaite, Mahmadullah Reyad, Anton Devcich, Tom Cooper, Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Devon Thomas, Graeme Cremer, Fabian Allen, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shamarh Brooks, Jeremiah Louis, Alzarri Joseph, Ibrahim Khalil and Javil Glenn.

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