Bernard expects a fine Super50 tourney
Jamaica Star article.
Kingston, Jamaica - Newly appointed Jamaica one-day captain, David Bernard Jr, says despite being without several key players, he believes the team has what it takes to reclaim the WICB NAGICO Insurance Super50 title.
The tournament, which bowls off on Thursday in Trinidad and Tobago, will see Jamaica fielding an under-strength team. Top batsmen Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, leg-spinner Odean Brown, and in-form pace bowler Krishmar Santokie are all out with injuries.
Gayle is yet to recover from a hamstring injury, Samuels is recuperating following hand surgery, Brown from a knee surgery, while Santokie is experiencing back-related problems.
The team will also be without experienced batsmen Danza Hyatt and Brenton Parchment, who after average returns during Super50 trials were overlooked by the national selectors.
"I believe we have capable-enough players, and who can get the job done, and as captain, that is what I intend to do," said Bernard Jr.
"We have a fairly balanced squad, and in one-day cricket, that's what you need, and once each player play to the best of their ability, I know we can do well."
Jamaica, who are slated to depart the country today, will, in the absence of top batsmen Gayle and Samuels, bank on former captain, Tamar Lambert, André Russell, Bernard Jr, and Carlton Baugh Jr.
There is an unusually large number of young and emerging batsmen in the 14-member squad. These include Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Horace Miller, Andre McCarthy, Kennar Lewis, and John Campbell.
The team's bowling, meanwhile, will be led by recent West Indies recalls Nikita Miller and Russell, as well as Bernard Jr and Andrew Richardson. The bowling department is completed by the returning-from-injury Jerome Taylor, and young West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cotterel.
"Every team has a good chance, and we will all start the tournament on a level playing field," Bernard Jr said.
"It will therefore boil down to how well we play on the day, and how well we play as a unit."
Jamaica, beaten at the semi-final stage last season, have been drawn been drawn in Zone A alongside defending champions Windward Islands, Guyana, and, guest team, Ireland.
The teams will play each other on a round-robin basis in each zone, with the top-two teams advancing to the semi-finals.
The final is scheduled for February 15 at Queen's Park Oval, which, along with Shaw Park in Tobago, are the two venues that will be used.