CPL: Winning titles call for “smart cricket”- Warriors coach Botha

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By Akeem Greene

The Guyana Amazon Warriors have consistently reached the final of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) over its five-year existence. However, in that period, they have been relegated to bridesmaid on three occasions and were twice knocked out at the semi-finals.

In light of the heart-breaking history, new Head Coach Johan Botha is of the opinion his players need to apply themselves better to stand any chance of winning the title. The sixth edition of the tournament is set to bowl-off in less than a week.

“It calls for smart cricket. It is easy to say let’s play the conditions well and have fun, but there is a lot more to it these days. We know we will come up against quality opposition and we need to be better on the night. We need to think on our feet and probably be the team that reacts the best to pressure situations,” the 36-year-old South African stated.

Botha played with the winning Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel side in 2015, now Trinbago Knight Riders. He inherits the Guyana Amazon Warriors coaching job from Roger Harper and has experience being the fielding coach with Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League.

His blueprint for success starts with taking it “match by match” with first aim being to reach the top four.

“You need to get into the play-offs first of all. We want to be in the top four and that is our first and main goal for now and then from there you are two to three wins away from winning the tournament and in those high pressure games you have to hope a couple of things go your way and a couple of your senior players perform on the night,” he reckoned.

The 18-man squad has multiple players, who perform identical roles, but the former off-spinner sees the importance of players finding specialist positions based on conditions.

“We have to look at conditions; the guys have said they really like a couple of the wickets at Providence, so that is probably the first thing we need to look at; if it is going to spin as much as it has in the past and it has not looked like it based on the recent One Day International. Every player is different and we will have to look and try to pick our best XI for the night,” he pointed out.

Warriors commenced their preparation camp on Friday at Providence ahead of their first match on Thursday (August 9) against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the National Stadium from 18:00h.

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