Players and management of the Barbados Tridents squad who will be participating in the 2017 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

CPL READY!

Barbados Tridents all set for T20 tournament

THE Barbados Tridents squad is prepared and ready to participate in the 2017 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which starts on August 4.

The mixture of youth and experienced cricketers, who are being led by Captain Kieron Pollard and coached by former West Indies fast bowler Vasbert Drakes, have been sharpening their skills over the past week.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, at the Hilton Hotel, where some of the players were introduced to the media and sponsors, Pollard said while the 2016 edition of the CPL was a disappointing undertaking for the Tridents, he was looking forward to improved performance and success this year.

“It is a matter of trying to tick the right boxes this year and trying to improve on that. Our first aim, obviously, is to qualify for the top four and it should be easy with six teams in there. But we know no cricket game is easy.

“All the teams are strong. We are just looking to build that strong team camaraderie first, get rid of all the unnecessary problems and internal stuff and try to execute on the cricket field,” Pollard said.

The Captain said with the addition of Barbadian cricket stalwarts Tino Best and Dwayne Smith to the team, along with some of the young excelling players, the team was strong in all areas.

“We have lost Raymon Reifer due to selection to the West Indies Senior team, which is good for him. It creates a problem for us now we have to go and look for replacement.

“But having said that, we are looking forward to a better 2017 and hopefully we can make the public of Barbados proud,” Pollard said.

Drakes, who is now coaching the team for the fourth time, said management has been spending the past week working behind the scenes to ensure the players are all match ready for the first game in Florida on August 5.

“The challenge for us as a group is to make sure that everyone is making their contribution. I am very excited as a coach and certainly with my knowledge and stuff, the challenge for me is to make sure that everyone is motivated,” Drakes said.

Meanwhile, Smith, who has re-joined the Tridents after spending a year with the Guyana Amazon Warriors, said he was happy that “the mistake that happened last year was corrected and that I am back where I belong again”.

“I am very excited and glad to be back and I am really looking forward to getting in some good performances and getting the team off to a good start,” Smith said.

The players on the team include Kieron Pollard (captain), Dwayne Smith, Tino Best, Chris Barnwell, Akeem Dodson, Akeal Hosein, Damion Jacobs, Imran Khan, Wayne Parnell, Nicholas Pooran, Ravi Rampaul, Shoaib Malik, Shamar Springer, Wahab Riaz, Ryan Wiggins and Kane Williamson. (AH)

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