T&T’s Super50 preparations once again hit a bump as its latest practice match at the National Cricket Centre in Balmain, Couva was abandoned due to a wet outfield on Monday.
The players were resigned to an outdoor net training session instead. It was a setback for players within the 22-man provisional squad who are hoping to make a last-minute case for selection in the final 15 which is due to be named after Wednesday’s practice which is set for the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.
However, T&T all-rounder Yannic Cariah, who has also been a captain of one of the practice teams during the five matches so far said he’s not allowing the selectors’ job to distract him from what he needs to do.
Speaking to Guardian Media Sports on Monday as his colleagues went through the nets session, Cariah said, “For me, personally, I’m seeing some improvement in my game, most importantly. I think we have to continue doing the simple things well and keep working on strengths and improve on our weaknesses. Yes, the side hasn’t been picked as yet but it’s going to be tough for everyone. It’s going to be tough to get a look in because the senior players are back but I can only control what I can control and that is my performances and what I do to get better.”
While Cariah is happy to back on the field of play, he said he used the lockdown period last year to work on both his physical fitness as well as the mental side of his game. “I think it’s been a very long layoff, but it was a perfect opportunity, at least for me, to work on my body and get back my body back to how it was. At the end of the day, I’m getting older,” said the 28-year-old. He further explained, “I also worked on my mind as well so for me, personally, I took the positives out of the long layoff and I’m waiting patiently for the opportunity to play more games.”
Meanwhile, fellow T&T spinner Imran Khan didn’t hide his frustration having watched another practice match turn into a practice session. “It’s a bit frustrating, I must be honest. Match practice and match fitness are key going into a tournament that is less than a month away. Nevertheless, we have to keep focused. I still think it’s building up nicely for the T&T team and all the players are eager for the Super50.”
Khan went on to say despite the weather dampening the practice matches, spirits have been high in the dressing room. “Everyone is positive and in a clear frame of mind. By now, everyone should know their roles. The good thing about playing the next match at the Queen’s Park Oval is that rain or no rain we should get some cricket in there.”
With weather permitting, the Red Force is scheduled to play another practice match at the Oval from 9:30 am tomorrow. The team is expected to leave on January 26th with the tournament starting on February 9th.
Red Force 22-Man Squad
Kieron Pollard (Capt), Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Narine, Jyd Goolie, Tion Webster, Jadon Seales, Khary Pierre, Mark Deyal, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Ravi Rampaul, Isiah Rajah, Kjorn Ottley, Yannick Cariah, Anderson Phillip, Akeal Hosein, Reyaad Emrit, Terrance Hinds, Imran Khan, Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin. Dwayne J Bravo is the team's Mentor.