Knee injury won’t stop Gavin Tonge
Cave Hill, Barbados -- Gavin Tonge is willing to play through the pain barrier in a bid to kick-start the Leeward Islands campaign in this year’s Regional 4 Day championship. The big fast bowler has a slightly damaged left knee but declared himself fit and ready enough to face Combined Campuses & Colleges in the second round of the first-class season. First ball on Friday at the 3Ws Oval is 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).
“I am in a bit of pain at the moment but every fast bowler who has ever played the game of cricket has experienced some level of pain at some stage in their career. On a scale of one to 10 I would say it’s about four ... but I’m willing to put that behind me and go out and play for the Leewards on Friday,” Tonge said after Thursday’s training session.
“I’m the most experienced player in the team at the moment and I’m expected to play major part. The team requires me to come out and deliver. I have played with injury and pain before and I’m sure I can get through this weekend and do well for the Leewards. The pitch looks like it will help my style of bowling. There appears to be some moisture in the surface so I will be looking for some early wickets with the new ball.”
The 29-year-old Tonge made his regional debut nine years ago and has overcome some injury setbacks to play 40 first-class matches and take 114 wickets at just under 29 runs each. The other speedster in the 13-man squad is Nelson Bolan, the 21-year-old former West Indies Under-19 player, who made his first-class debut last week.
Tonge took five for 53 off 20 overs in the first innings while Boland took four for 43 in the second innings of the opening match against Guyana at Windsor Park last weekend. They however ended on the losing side as the Leewards batted poorly against spin and went down by a whopping 234 runs. Tonge said the heavy opening round defeat hurt the team and they have to bounce back against CCC this weekend.
“That defeat hurt a whole lot... to go down in three days was not the way we wanted to start the season. We bowled pretty well as a bowling unit but we did not bat well and we paid a heavy price. We have a chance to correct that this weekend and get it right. We lost the first match but that is not the end of the season for us. We will look to get some points on the board.”
The other matches this weekend are Jamaica against Barbados at Sabina Park and Windward Islands against Guyana at Windsor Park in Dominica. The winning team in the Regional 4 Day tournament will be the awarded the Headley/Weekes Trophy in honour of West Indies greats George Headley and Sir Everton Weekes.
Batting (Most Runs) - The Vivian Richards Award
Bowling (Most Wickets) - The Courtney Walsh Award
Fielding (Most Catches) - The Clive Lloyd Award
Allrounder (Leading Allrounder) - The Malcolm Marshall Award
Wicket-keeping (Most Dismissals) - The Deryck Murray Award
Most Promising Fast Bowler - The Andy Roberts Award