Monday, January 22, 2018

ready to win

T&T prepared for final, whoever they face

The Trinidad and Tobago cricketers remained upbeat and confident ahead of today's Caribbean Twenty20 final even though they would have had to wait until late last night to know who their opponents would be.

The final takes place at 8 p.m. tonight at Beausejour Stadium, St Lucia with the defending champions T&T taking on the winners of last night's playoff between 2010 winners Guyana and last year's runners-up Jamaica.

However, T&T manager Omar Khan said the result was of little consequence to Denesh Ramdin's men who are all fit, ready and eager to get on the park tonight for their final appearance as team "Red Force" in the Caribbean T20, which will be replaced by the franchise-based Caribbean Premier League T20 next year.

T&T have dominated the other teams in the tournament so far and Khan insisted that it really does not matter to them who they face tonight.

"We have no control over who we face tonight and we are not worried about that. Once the game is completed tonight (last night) and we know who we will be facing we will sit down and plan accordingly," the T&T manager explained.

"We know both teams well," he said.

"We have played both teams already in the tournament so we know what to expect. We will be watching the match tonight but it does not matter to us who we face in the final, we will be ready," said Khan.

And to ensure they are at the top of their game for tonight's encounter, coach David Williams had the players in two intense training sessions on Friday and yesterday at the Gros Islet ground.

"We had the guys doing a lot of physical work, fitness and conditions. The coach is also doing some technical work with the team in terms of playing out different scenarios; setting targets for the batsmen and for bowlers and different strategies," Khan explained.

He also pointed out that T&T have a lot of support in St Lucia from local fans and from "Trinis" who are making the trip for the final.

"We have had a massive turnout of supporters and even at our hotel we are seeing them coming in to support the team and that means a lot to the players," he said.

"One of the things we have been impressing on the team is that this is the last time the national team will be on the field as a Trinidad and Tobago team in Caribbean T20 and it is something that has helped to motivate the guys and keep them focused," he added.

"The guys are very proud to be here representing their country and they want to make their country proud by doing well and winning the final.

"They (the players) are very happy and appreciative of the fact that a lot of supporters are coming for the game and the guys really want to do well for the fans and for T&T.

"All indications are that the stadium will be in red," said the T&T manager who is hoping that with the home team Windward Islands, led by West Indies captain Darren Sammy, out of the competition, the local fans will come out and support T&T in the final.