There are no great surprises in Cayman’s Stanford 20/20 squad that includes a couple of youngsters who have been matured at an impressive pace this year.
One of them is fast bowler Marlon ‘Minger’ Bryan who has regained his early season form after injury. ‘I’m really excited. I didn’t go to the first Stanford tournament but saw it on TV, those fellas playing as a unit and I want to experience how it actually feels to play in that type of setting. I’m really looking forward to being on TV and people seeing me as a youngster performing at that level and hopefully, I’ll do well. I’ve been working on my batting too.’
Bryan, 21, was in such fine form in the summer that he was offered two professional contracts to play in England when on the Police tour, but did not take them up. Soon after, injury struck.
‘I’m over my injury problems after fracturing my ‘pinky’ finger. I’m bowling a lot better. Coming off an injury, you tend to lose what you had before. My game doesn’t feel like I’ve lost anything but my mentality is that I have to catch back up to the others, so I’m pushing myself more than before the injury. I’ve started doing some physical training, running laps around the field, not just nets.’
Other youngsters rewarded for their consistency are Kervin Ebanks, Ricardo Roach and Ramon Sealy. The backbone of the team will centre around established players like Pearson Best, Ryan Bovell, Saheed Mohamed, Alistair Ifill and Steve Gordon who are all in excellent form. The squad of 18 will be whittled down to a final 13 and be named on 16 December.
Ainsley Hall is a wicket-keeper/batsman. He flashed his bat impressively in last week’s humbling of visitors Bahamas and he is looking forward to returning to the Stanford tournament. Cayman play St Lucia on 25 January in Antigua. Top team prize is $1 million.
The 35-year-old Jamaican feared he would be a victim of the rollover policy and would have to leave. ‘I’m happy that I’ve been granted a one year appeal on my rollover status. I feel so happy, excited because I’ve worked hard to get in the squad. I guess the game is so exciting and you done know we have a million dollars to play for.’