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Jamaica coach satisfied with early preparation

 • KINGSTON


Jamaica’s senior team coach Junior Bennett is pleased with the general condition of the players as they prepare for the upcoming regional Super50 and Four-day cricket competitions.

According to a report in the Jamaica Observer newspaper, Bennett, who was been overseeing a total of 41 players going through their paces at Sabina Park, said there have been a “good six or so days” of practice. “It’s been a good six days of training.

We played one two-day game and we did physical assessments. The general fitness level is not too bad.

“You might have one or two players probably not up to the level as yet because it’s a new season, but things have gone well so far and it’s still early days,” Bennett said.

“The bowling has been steady, but with the batting, some people got starts and didn’t carry on. But it’s the first practice game and players are just settling down and we hope they take it from there,” added Bennett.

Four other squad members, namely left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, batsman Marlon Samuels, left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and wicketkeeper/batsman Chadwick Walton, are with the West Indies team in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, the Jamaica squad broke camp ahead of the Christmas and Boxing Day Holidays and will resume December 27.

“The bowling has been steady, but with the batting, some people got starts and didn’t carry on. But it’s the first practice game and players are just settling down and we hope they take it from there,” Bennett said.

Given the celebratory nature of the season and the likelihood of players spending most of their break time away from the cricket field and the gymnasium, Bennett explained that the coaching staff has advised squad members to not go overboard with the festivities.

“It’s always a concern but it’s something we are aware of and so on and spoken about. We’ve encouraged everybody to be disciplined during the holiday break. It’s good that it’s not too long of a break and after Boxing Day they’ll be back in camp, so that should take care of that,” the veteran head coach said.

In recent times, Jamaica won the 50-overs championship in 2007-08 and again in the 2011-12 season.

The Jamaicans have been far more successful in four-day cricket, copping five titles between 2007-08 and 2011-12, before Barbados’ victorious run last season.

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