The Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 has given the Trinidad and Tobago players some extra experience, which manager Omar Khan says will be an added advantage for them when they head to India in September for their final appearance in the Champions League T20.
“The guys who played in the CPLT20 have had the exposure to play continuous cricket and also to rub shoulders with international players in a different team environment so they could bring those benefits to the team so we can really gel together as a unit,” Khan told the Express yesterday.
“Even the guys who were not involved in the CPL, like Jason Mohammed, Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, they were continuously in training here at the National Cricket Centre under Gerald Garcia so they will also be fit and ready,” the manager added.
He also welcomed back pacer Ravi Rampaul from injury, and is expecting him to play a leading role in their Champions League campaign. (See Page 70).
“Rampaul is back and ready and he will take this opportunity this week end in Guyana and next weekend in Dominica to get ready, so everything should fall into place by the time we are ready to leave for India.”
T&T leave for Guyana tomorrow to play two practice matches against their hosts before travelling to Dominica next weekend for two more practice matches against the Windward Islands team.
“Rampaul is a tremendous boost. He is one of the top bowlers in West Indies cricket and he had played in the IPL (Indian Premier League) earlier this year so he has experience in Indian conditions, and he did well in the IPL so I am sure he is looking forward to representing the Red Force in this edition of the Champions League.
“We expect these practice games to be very competitive. The coaches will be using the opportunity to fine-tune and get ready for India,” said Khan.
The manager is not too concerned about not having some of the key players in the T&T team for the Champions League.
“You will have a number of players who will have an opportunity to step up,” he said.
“Young Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, Nicholas Pooran, Adrian Barath. All those are players who will be given the opportunity, and it is about time they stepped up and try and show they are ready to be part of international teams and not just the T&T team,” Khan added.
T&T are expected to leave for India on September 16, with the Champions League set to bowl off the next day with the qualifying stage.
T&T were seeded directly into the group stage of the tournament, and will start their campaign on September 22 against the Brisbane Heat.