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Red Force starts as Super50 favourites
T&T Red Force has a great chance of winning the upcoming Regional Super50 Tournament which bowls-off on October 3, given the fact that all their star players will be available for selection. This, according to former West Indies Under-19 captain Zaheer Ali.
The former cricketer who is now an attorney said that this country’s franchise will be very strong and hence there is an increased chance of taking the title. “ It is great for T&T cricket and the future of T&T cricket, especially given the fact that these guys can guide and mentor the young players. Added to this, it gives the country a great chance of winning the title. T&T has dominated this tournament in the past but in recent times the team has not been able to bring home the title. Now with this great group of cricketers who can add to the country's title count.”
Returning to national duty is the left handed batsman Darren Bravo, who has been out of the national set up for a while, Dwayne Bravo, who will be the team's vice capatin to Denesh Ramdin, who will serve as skipper, the hard-hitting Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul and spin ace Sunil Narine.
In terms of the tournament itself, Ali said: “It is also great for the tournament as it is expected to lift the standard of cricket and this is always good when it comes to the development of the sport. With such talent available sponsors will now be keen to have a look in at the tournament, which has had to be carried by Cricket West Indies (CWI) for a very long time.
“Now, CWI will also be very happy because of the fact that is a greater pool of quality players to select the Caribbean side from, with the World Cup in England next year. The selectors will now have their jobs cut out because the players are now making themselves available for their franchise looking to impress and get into the team."
Ali, who also represented the T&T senior team as a left-handed batsman was high in praise of all concerned for the players coming back into the national fold. “Mature thinking from the T&T Cricket Board Executive and respective players which is commendable and this is great for our cricket.”
Former West Indies opener turned commentator Philo Wallace is looking forward to the return of the senior players. “This is wonderful news for cricket in Trinidad and the West Indies. The players have been saying all along that they are committed to West Indies cricket. However, they needed to show that by making themselves available for the domestic tournaments. They have done that now and this is good. They can now address the Windies selectors with the World Cup around the corner and we can go to the World Cup with a very strong team.”
Wallace added that T&T Red Force may well be the team to beat in this tournament. “Let me tell you that when you look at that team on paper, it is dangerous. The T&T Red Force looks really strong and they may well be the team to beat in this Super50 series.”
The CWI Super50 series begins on October 3 with a doubleheader in Trinidad. The Red Force will open its account with a clash against the Windwards Volcanoes at the Queen’s Park Oval. On the same day, there will also see action at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba. The teams will be divided into two groups, one in Trinidad and the another in Barbados.
The semis and final will be played in Barbados. A total of 12 teams are taking part in the tournament and each team will have 10 preliminary round matches.
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