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T&T begin training for Caribbean T20 next week

By Roger Seepersad

The Trinidad and Tobago cricketers will resume training as early as next week in preparation for next year's Caribbean Twenty20 tournament which, will be staged in Trinidad and St Lucia from January 6-20.

T&T coach David Williams said that the team management will meet tomorrow to work out the details of T&T's preparations for the Caribbean T20, and that they will also be looking at players for the Regional Four-Day Tournament and the Regional Super50.

The Regional Super 50 tournament, which is usually played late in the year, will run simultaneously with the WICB four-Day tournament early next year.

Williams said the team management and T&T selectors will be looking to organise and structure T&T's preparation for all three tournaments, but insisted that the national team will have to take it one step at a time.

First priority for the national team will be winning the Caribbean T20 for the third consecutive time and securing their place in the next edition of the Champions League T20.

Williams said that while T&T's failure to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League T20 was disappointing, they will have to reorganise themselves and bounce back for the Caribbean T20.

T&T crashed out of the Champions League earlier this month following their six-wicket loss to Yorkshire in their first match of the qualifying stage.

T&T's second qualifying match was against Uva Next, and that was also washed out.

"We still have to take it one step at a time. This tournament (the Caribbean T20) is going to be very important for the team, because we want to be there when the next Champions League starts," said Williams.

Next year's tournament will be a little different, though with an increase the number of preliminary matches each team plays from four to six.

As per the new format, the seven regional teams will play each other once and the team with most points at the end of the league stage will automatically qualify for the final.

The other finalist will be decided after a play-off between the second and the third-placed teams. The winner of the tournament will also qualify for next year's Champions League.

T&T will be chasing a hat-trick of Caribbean T20 titles, having won the tournament in 2011 and 2012. Guyana won the inaugural tournament in 2010.

Winning the four-day title is also high on the agenda for T&T, and Williams said that preparations for that tournament, as well at the Regional Super50, will also be discussed at tomorrow's meeting.

T&T have not won the Regional Four-Day tournament since Daren Ganga's men lifted the title in 2006. Since then Barbados have won it once in 2007 and Jamaica have won it for the last five seasons.

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