Trinidad and Tobago Red Force have taken part in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) for the last time, but the players could still look forward to being part of the multi-million dollar tournament next year.
Maybe not all of the T&T players will make it back to the CLT20 but some could reach the big stage again through the franchised-based Caribbean Premier League T20 (CPLT20), which has replaced the country-based Caribbean T20.
That will be the goal of most of the T&T players, but former West Indies Test cricketer Bryan Davis says making a Caribbean Premier League franchise should not be the players’ ultimate objective.
Davis said hard-hitting opening batsmen Evin Lewis, who was overlooked by the six franchises for the inaugural CPL earlier this year, will certainly be first-round draft pick material for the Caribbean franchises.
Asked to comment on T&T’s overall performance in the CLT20, Davis immediately singled out Lewis’ performance as one of the “positives”.
“I thought Lewis was excellent. His performance was nothing short of fantastic. I saw him a year ago and I was impressed with him and I hope no one labels him a T20 or limited overs cricketer,” said Davis.
“They (T&T and West Indies selectors) should see for the talent he has. I think he has the talent and ability to play every format of the game at the highest level.”
Lewis, who plays club cricket with T&T Cricket Board (TTCB) Premiership T20 champions, PowerGen Sports, has played three first class matches for T&T since making his first class debut last year, scoring 60 runs in six innings with a high-score of 25. He has had much better returns in T20 cricket, with 356 runs from ten matches with three half centuries.
In the CLT20, Lewis finished fifth on the list of top batsmen with 211 runs in five innings including two half centuries. His top score was 70 and he averaged 42.20. But Davis had a warning for the youngster and other aspiring cricketers.
“If you only concentrate on T20 you don’t learn the rudiments of the game and might not develop as you should,” said the QPCC administrator.
He said: “If you focus and practice on T20 cricket, you are not going to get very far. You have to rely on the longer version of the game to build stamina, concentration, endurance.
“Those are things you get from playing four-day cricket.
“I also believe that in the heart of every cricketer is the desire to play at the highest level, and the CPL and these types of tournaments are really club cricket.
“If they concentrate more on four-day cricket and improve themselves and learn through playing those matches how to bat properly in the longer version of the game and all the qualities needed in batting, I could see them becoming better players.”
The T&T team is expected back home today.