Four-day season crucial for Red Force
Trinidad & Tobago Newsday article.
Port of Spain, Trinidad - Trinidad and Tobago will begin yet another journey towards attaining their first 2014 Caribbean cricket title when they lock horns with the Windward Islands tomorrow in their opening Regional Four-Day clash which bowls off at the Queen’s Park Oval, St Clair.
Having fallen victim to the dominant Bajans in the Nagico Super50 final last month, the four-day version of the game is now TT’s only chance of a Caribbean title for the 2014 season.
Speaking to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) director Dr Allen Sammy yesterday, he revealed that this tourney is crucial towards rebuilding the strength and confidence of the Red Force.
“It has become exceedingly important for Trinidad and Tobago to win this tournament. This is because it is the only competition that we can have a chance of placing their names on the trophy.
There is only the four-day version and the fifty over version now, and we did do quite well in the latter but we faltered at the end. It is important that we do well in this format of the game,” he explained.
Barbados are the defending champions in the Four-Day competition and are expected to continue on their high after winning the 50 overs version.
“The games that entail Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica, they tend to be a bit more fiercely competitive than the others. That traditional rivalry goes back about 60 odd years and it’s good for cricket because it’s like the Ashes. We still need to fight and fight very hard,” Dr Sammy continued.
Questioned of the strength of the national team’s batting line-up, Dr Sammy admitted that the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has been trying to address the problem of underperforming batsmen.
He stated that they have recently begun installing new turf pitches and soil so that both batsmen and bowlers can familiarise themselves with a better quality pitch and training environment.
He concluded, “Everyone hopes that it (batting) will change from year to year. But it can only change if we do other things to make it happen. We are working keenly on the turf pitches.
This year in particular we supplied a lot of turf pitches and new soil. Of course the results will not manifest itself right away but the new soil was a deliberate start from the TTCB as one of the strategies towards increasing the quality of pitches. So all the cricket that is being played will now be in a more competitive environment and on better grounds.”