Aug 06, 2020 Sports Comments Off on ‘Mental preparations helping players to adjust’ – Omar Khan
GAW players in Quarantine in T&T ahead of CPL
By Sean Devers
This is the eight season of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) since the inaugural tournament in 2013 and 33 matches will be played from August 18 to September 10 in Trinidad.
The CPL is contested between Barbados Tridents, Jamaica Tallawahs, St Lucia Zouks, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, Trinbago Knight Riders and Guyana Amazon Warriors and is usually played in six Countries.
However, due to Global pandemic COVID-19, a request was made in June to the Trinidad & Tobago Government for all the games to played in Trinidad.
CPL is the ‘biggest party in sports’ due to the pulsating atmosphere it creates with massive crowds of dancing, flag-waving fans in the stands, especially in Trinidad where many, with little interest in cricket, turn up for the ‘fete’.
But this year things will be different due to pandemic since no spectators are allowed and all of the teams will stay at the Hilton Hotel in Port-of-Spain where they will be quarantined for two weeks.
On July 27, CPL got the approval from the T&T Government for the tournament to hosted at two venues; Queens Park Oval in Port-of-Spain and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, South Trinidad which is approximately a 40-minute drive apart.
The day after approval, Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar called on Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley to cancel the hosting of the tournament due to surge of COVID-19 cases on the Island.
It is against this background that the eight Guyanese on the Guyana Amazon Warriors, two of whom had made themselves unavailable for the recent West Indies tour to England, departed for Trinidad on a chartered flight last Monday evening.
While Ramnaresh Sarwan led Guyana to the inaugural Stanford T20 tournament in Antigua in 2006 and the West Indies T20 Championships in 2010 in Trinidad to qualify for the Champions League T20 tournament in South Africa, the GAW has never won a CPL title, despite playing in five of the seven finals and reaching the semis six times.
“All the players have arrived safely in Trinidad and are quarantined at the Trinidad Hilton for 14 days.
They were tested this morning (Tuesday) and will be tested again after seven days. Once they are negative they could be allowed to practice after the initial seven days.
However, the total mandatory days is 14, which was agreed to, by CPL and the Government,” Warriors’ Manager Trinidadian Omar Khan told Kaieteur Sports from the Hilton Hotel on Tuesday evening.
Khan, who has been GAW’s Manager since the CPL was formed, informed that after 14 days the teams will be allowed full practices before the tournament starts two days later.
“If all goes well and everybody remains negative, then there is a possibility that the teams could be allowed to practice after the eighth day,” Khan added.
The long serving Manager who never had the chance to lift the coveted Trophy although his team has been the most consistent team in the tournament, says the players are adjusting well.“The Hilton Hotel is taking care of all meals requirements and they are very well taken care of with regards to meals so far.
As you know it’s different circumstances, we have done a lot of meetings and mental preparations for the players to be able to adjust and adapt to the quarantine period which entails staying in their rooms and not going out.
But it is a part of being disciplined and a part of their overall development as young professional cricketers. I am sure that we will come through this as a better team with better and more developed players and be ready for the tournament,” continued the Trinidadian.
“Playing without crowds will be something that will be totally different but under the circumstances everyone understands safety comes first.
It’s going to have an impact on the performance in terms of not being able to feed off of the crowd but I am sure that CPL is working together with the Government agencies here and the Queens Park Oval and the Brian Lara Academy to create an environment and atmosphere that will make it exciting,” said Khan.
“I believe the competitiveness between the local and Regional players is something that brings out the best and it will still be competitiveness.
Players playing for pride, players playing to enhance their reputations.…so yes I think there will be lots of good competitive cricket despite not having crowds, I don’t think it will have a major impact on the standard of the Cricket,” the Warriors’ Manager concluded.
The 27-year-old medium pacer Singh is the American player selected, while the Guyanese pair of Sinclair and Nedd are the U-21 players in the squad. They were both members of the West Indies Emerging Players Team that won the last Regional Super50 in Trinidad.
The Warriors face host and three-times champions Trinbago Knight Riders from 10:00 hrs in the opening game of a double header at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy where the other match will see defending Champions Barbados Tridents battle St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in a day/night fixture from 19:30 hrs.
The Guyanese franchise will be in action the next day at the same venue when they face the Patriots from 19:30hrs before opposing Jamaica Tallawahs at Brain Lara Academy on August 22.
On August 23 the Warriors play St Lucia Zouks before the actions shifts to Port-of-Spain where they take on Tallawahs at the Queens Park Oval on August 25.
GAW play the Knight Riders on the 27th and Patriots on August 30 in POS before returning to Tarouba to complete the preliminary rounds with matches against Tridents on September 1 and Zouks the next day.
The Semi-finals are set for September 8 at the Brian Lara Academy where the finals will be contested on September 10.
The GAW squad: Kevin Sinclair, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Odean Smith, Anthony Bramble, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan, Qais Ahmad, Naveen-ul-haq, Imran Tahir, Ross Taylor, Chris Green, Ashmead Nedd and Jasdeep Singh
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