CPL 2020: Emrit wants positive start from Patriots
By Akeem Greene
St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots will face defending champions Barbados Tridents on the first day’s double-header from 17:30h at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
Newly-appointed captain Rayad Emrit wants the side to start on a positive note, given the condensed format of the tournament.
“Starting well is always important in any tournament and we definitely want to start well, more so given the tournament is very compact,” the captain stated on Friday in a Virtual press briefing.
While some franchises have voiced the notion of player rotation, the veteran T20 campaigner indicated that the 2017 runners-up will look to stick to a core of players to qualify for the knockout stage.
“I don’t think chopping and changing of the team will be what we are looking to do; we just have to stick to our best team and hopefully our best team from the start can put us through. First thing on our minds is qualifying and that’s where the hard cricket starts.”
He indicated that adapting to the confinement of a hotel at the start was tough and playing without the electric atmosphere will be odd, but the onus is on players to self-motivate.
“It is definitely going to be very strange; as Caribbean people we love the party atmosphere and the crowd always plays a big part. If there is one positive, TKR does not have that 12th man support playing at home, but as players we have to bring our own vibes to the stadium.”
The Trinidadian felt there is an advantage of having five other natives in the squad. He is hoping that could work in Patriots favour in terms of knowledge of conditions, but it is left to be seen the type of pitches that are produced.
West Indies leading Test wicket-taker Courtney Walsh is part of the Patriots coaching set-up and Emrit claims having the “legend” working with the faster men is a massive boost as that is Patriots strength this season.
However, he termed the absence of dynamic all-rounder Fabian Allen as a “big loss”. Allen was ruled out of the tournament after missing his flight from Jamaica to Barbados.
Patriots official squad is down to 16, but they have practice players Kieran Powell and Sheeno Berridge, who can serve as injury replacements.
St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots: Rayad Emrit (captain), Chris Lynn, Ben Dunk, Evin Lewis, Nick Kelly, Sohail Tanvir, Ish Sodhi, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Imran Khan, Alzarri Joseph, Joshua de Silva, Dominic Drakes, Colin Archibald, Jon Russ Jaggesar, Jahmar Hamilton.