Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Gayle, Pietersen looking forward to CPL T20 clash


FOCUSSED: Chris Gayle

Mark Fraser

 Two of cricket’s great entertainers meet today in the Limacol Caribbean Premier League as Chris Gayle’s high flying Jamaica Tallawahs take on a rejuvenated St Lucia Zouks who welcomed Kevin Pietersen to their team in the first match today at noon at Warner Park in St Kitts.

In the second match of the double-header, the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel tackle the Antigua Hawksbills from 4 p.m.

Speaking ahead of his CPL debut today, Pietersen is looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere and energy of the St Kitts crowd and entertaining them with some hard fought cricket.

“Warner Park is a tight ground and the wicket looks very good for batting, so we should be in for the kind of cricket the crowds want to see,” Pietersen said.

“The Zouks have been very competitive in their matches in the tournament without quite getting over the line in a few close games. This weekend we will be looking to build on our first win in the last game and take up the challenge of playing two of the form teams in the competition,” he added.

The former England cricketer also spoke of the responsibility experienced players such as himself and Gayle have in offering advice to young team mates and helping inexperienced players to develop their game.

“Competitions such as the CPL and IPL are very important in giving new talent in the region the opportunity to play against some of the best local and international players,” he explained.

“As an experienced player, I try to help any young player in my team by offering whatever advice they would like in relation to their game. The Caribbean is a wonderful place to play cricket and the CPL is the best type of academy for the next generation of cricketers in these islands, and it is really nice to be a part of that,” Pietersen added.

Jamaica Tallawahs’ captain Gayle said his team is focussed on topping the table to earn an automatic place in the final.

 “This is a big game for us against the Zouks as we have the opportunity to go to the top of the table if we win. With Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel losing last night, the door is ajar for us to try and qualify automatically for the final so that is what we are focused on this weekend,” said Gayle.