The Red Steel will be playing its third game of the tournament. So far, the Red Steel has won one and lost one. At Warner Park in St. Kitts on July 4, the Red Steel beat the Amazon Warriors scoring 124 for 7 to the Amazon’s 118 for 10. At Kensington Oval in Barbados, the Red Steel lost to the Barbados Tridents amassing 95 for 9 to the Tridents 98 for 2. A third game played at Beausejour Cricket Ground in St. Lucia between the St. Lucia Zouks and the Red Steel was abandoned because of rain on June 21.
Speaking at a press conference at Sabina Park on July 8, coach for the Red Steel, Simon Helmot, said that he was very pleased with the make-up of his team that has “a good balance of spin bowlers, pace bowlers and batsmen” and that they were working on improving the weak areas.
“It is time for us to shine and improve. I think that we have got great camaraderie within the group. We have been training well and preparing well. We have a string of games which we look forward to playing in all different formats,” said Helmot, the Australian cricket coach, who was formerly coach of the Melbourne Renegades.
“Every game is difficult. This is a wonderful competition. Every team can beat each other. We saw that at the back end of CPL last season. The teams are scrambling for wins at the moment. We know how important early wins are and we’re still in the early stage of our season whereas some teams are in the back end of their tournament so for us it’s hopefully to beat the Tallawahs,” Helmot said. “As the boys suggest it is always hard to beat a team on its home ground. We look forward to an outstanding contest”.
Coach for the Jamaica Tallawahs, Junior Bennett, said that he has confidence in his team.
“Well definitely, we’re just looking to go out there and play some good consistent cricket. The Trinidad Red Steel team is a formidable one. They’ve been playing some good cricket over the last three years,” Bennett said. “I think we have been bowling well throughout the entire tournament so far. We had one bad match against the Patriots so I’m not really concerned about our bowling at the moment”.
Captain of the Red Steel, Dwayne Bravo, underscored the importance of winning for the Red Steel.
“We take it one game at a time. Tomorrow (July 9) is a very important game for us. We have two more important games left on the road so a win here in Jamaica will do us well,” Bravo said.
“The tournament is very competitive. All the teams are very good so momentum is the key. But having said that, everything is a process so you have to take it one game at a time and don’t look too far ahead of yourself,” Bravo said, adding, “It’s good that we have good management team that keeps the group grounded and keep us focused on what we have to do”.
Krishmar Santokie, 30, bowler for the Tallawahs and regarded as one of the best bowlers in the Twenty 20 CPL said that the Tallawahs have learned to adjust to differences in pitches from one country to another.
“We have coped with it very well. We are professionals. It is nothing new to us so it is just to go out on the day and adjust to the conditions and play accordingly,” Santokie said.
“Playing at home now, we are off to a good start and I hope we continue to do well at home, because I think the home games are very crucial, because if you check the tournament and the history of the tournament, most games that teams win are at home, so we just want to continue and play good cricket and win all four games at home,” Santokie added.