Saturday, February 17, 2018

Big boost for T&T

Pollard, Dwayne Bravo return from BPL


DISMISSED: Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder Kieron Pollard walks back to the pavilion after being caught behind by Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) wicket-keeper Chadwick Walton, left, off bowler Jason Dawes, centre, during their West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-Day Tournament clash in Barbados earlier this month. Pollard and Dwayne Bravo will return from the Bangladesh Premier League to play for T&T against Leewards Islands on Friday at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.—Photo courtesy WEST INDIES CRICKET BOARD

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Trinidad and Tobago's team will earn a much-needed boost for their West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-Day Tournament clash with Windward Islands this weekend with the return of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.

The two players, who were competing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), will line up for T&T in the match starting Friday at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain.

Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) chairman of selectors Dudnath Ramkessoon yesterday told the Express that Pollard and Bravo had indicated before departing for Bangladesh that they would return for the WICB fourth round fixture, which is T&T's first home match.

Pollard and Bravo's return could not come at a better time, with Trinidad and Tobago's senior team nursing a number of injuries.

Openers Adrian Barath and Lendl Simmons and skipper/wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin all picked up injuries after suffering blows in their visit to Barbados last weekend.

And there is still doubt over the fitness of fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, who was pulled from the squad to Barbados because of a shoulder injury.

Ramkessoon told the Express that the selectors should get updates on all the players, but Simmons will miss the match with a broken finger sustained while wicket-keeping in place of the injured Ramdin.

"When we went to Barbados we knew they were going to try to bounce us out and they did," Ramkessoon said of the injuries. "A number of players got injured and we lost the game. It's still early, we have to move on and learn from that experience."

The TTCB vice-president also said T&T, despite their five-wicket loss to Barbados, still have their sights set on winning the competition and is hoping they can start their winning momentum against the struggling Leewards, who have lost their first two encounters inside of three days.

"We're not taking them too lightly. You have to go out there and play (positive cricket). You cannot underrate any team at any time. (The Leewards) have players that haven't been doing well and you don't know when they will come good. You have to go out there, do what you can do and raise the level of your game."

With the Australia international tour coming up soon, it adds further motivation for players to step up their performances.

"We have seasoned campaigners and they must be able to perform in any conditions," Ramkessoon reasoned. "They are trying to do well for the team and for themselves going forward to get into the West Indies team."

Although Trinidad and Tobago's batting has not been impressive, Ramkessoon is pleased with the bowling thus far and described off-spinner Sunil Narine as "outstanding".

"The contract he got recently would have boosted his confidence. He has shown that on the field itself he is doing very well for T&T. He's at the peak of his game right now and we expect him to continue in that way."