Mystery spinner Sunil Narine was expected back in Trinidad and Tobago yesterday to boost the T&T bowling attack ahead of their crucial NAGICO Super50 Zone B clash with the Leeward Islands at Shaw Park, Tobago, from nine a.m. today.
T&T manager Manohar Ramsaran confirmed that Narine, who played six matches for Cape Cobras in South Africa’s Ram Slam Twenty20 tournament, was expected to join his T&T teammates late yesterday in Tobago.
Ramsaran said he could not confirm if the off-spinner will take the field today after a long flight from South Africa and that it was up to the selectors to choose the final squad.
However, after T&T’s 28-run loss to Barbados in their opening match on Sunday, today’s game is a must-win for the home team and T&T skipper Bravo said that Narine’s arrival will give the hosts a psychological advantage over the Leewards.
“Sunil is one of the best players in the world and he will be coming back into the set up. We definitely missed him in the first game and having him around is definitely a psychological advantage over the opposition but it is not a one-man team,” Bravo pointed out.
Despite the loss to Barbados, Bravo said there were some positives coming out of the game and they will be looking to build on those today.
“We did a lot of good things in the last game but unfortunately we did not win but I think it was a great game. Two very good teams, credit to Barbados. Jonathan Carter and Dwayne Smith played well and Sulieman Benn’s spell made a big difference.
“We will take the positives from it and we are looking forward to this game.”
Bravo also said that T&T were expecting a better display from the Leewards, who lost their opening match to the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), on Saturday, by 160 runs.
“We are not going to take them lightly. It is a cricket game and we have to respect every opposition. I know definitely they will want to rebound and whenever any team plays against Trinidad and Tobago, they raise their standard so we expect a better performance from Leewards’ team.”
T&T: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin (wicket-keeper), Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan, Yannick Ottley, Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper; Kelvin Williams (coach), Manohar Ramsaran (manager)
Leeward Islands: Kieran Powell (captain), Devon Thomas (vice captain/wicket-keeper), Justin Athanaze, Lionel Baker, Quinton Boatswain, Rahkeem Cornwall, Jahmar Hamilton, Montcin Hodge, Sylvester Joseph, Anthony Martin, Mali Richards, Gavin Tonge, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kelbert Walters, Ridley Jacobs (coach)