‘This could be our year’- Amazon Warriors Assistant Coach
It is the 10th season of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and the Guyana Amazon Warriors and the St. Lucia Stars are the only two active franchises yet to lift the title.
There is a brewing consensus that with the Warriors hosting the finals for the next three years, a title could be on the cards after five unsuccessful attempts in a final.
Assistant Coach, Ryan Hercules is optimistic that based on the hard yards in preparation, this could be the season the trophy stays in Guyana.
“When you listen to the guys in the camp talking about what it would be like to win the finals for the first time in Guyana, it gives the guys goosebumps, guys get emotional…everyone is very eager to make it happen this year.”
“We have been getting all the support we need to make it happen and it’s just for the players to go out there and make it happen and put in the work,” Hercules stated in an exclusive interview with News Room Sport.
The Amazon Warriors are currently competing in the new and innovative 6IXTY, a T10 tournament, but attention will soon switch to the main CPL tournament from August 31.
Their first match is on September 3 against Jamaica Tallawahs from 10:00h at Warner Park, St. Kitts.
“We have a few days until we get into the T20s and I think this could be the year for us. The big vibes with everyone knowing we will have a packed stadium, so Guyana in the final is a good chance,” the Assistant Coach indicated.
Their final four group matches will be hosted at the National Stadium, Providence, from September 21, and then the finals week starts on September 27.
Apart from changes in management, there are also changes in leadership. Talented batsman Shimron Hetmyer has been appointed captain- only the second Guyanese in the post after Ramnaresh Sarwan in 2013- and while no official announcement has been made by the franchise, Keemo Paul is expected to play a key role in support as deputy.
Hercules is adamant that the two young men have what it takes to make a difference on and off the field with their leadership abilities.
“When you look at the likes of Keemo Paul and Shimron Hetmyer, the leadership skills they possess, a lot of the younger players and even the seniors look up to them. Hetmyer has gotten the captaincy role for the first time, and a lot of people [are] thinking he will be under pressure, but I think it is a great opportunity to show his maturity and how he transitions into leadership.”
Hetmyer started his senior captaincy stint with a close win over St. Lucia Kings in the 6IXTY on Thursday in St. Kitts.
Guyana Amazon Warriors Squad: Shimron Hetmyer (captain) Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi, Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd, Colin Ingram, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Paul Stirling, Shai Hope, Heinrich Klaasen, Keemo Paul, Jermaine Blackwood, Gudakesh Motie, Ronsford Beaton, Veerasammy Permaul, Junior Sinclair, Matthew Nandu.