Lambert is preferred to gayle

CRICINFO.COM

Jamaica
have named Tamar Lambert their captain ahead of Chris Gayle for the Caribbean
T20 which starts this week.

Lambert has been part of the
Jamaica squad for seven years, averages 30.36 with the bat in 55 first-class
matches and has led Jamaica to three consecutive regional four-day titles.

Gayle is part of the squad of 15,
which also includes internationals such as Marlon Samuels, Wavell Hinds, Nikita
Miller, David Bernard and wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh.

“Everything has gone very well so
far. We are getting everything in place. When we reach Barbados we mean
business,” Lambert said. “We have been working really hard. The 14 players have
been selected now and our physical trainer has been putting us through our
paces.

“We have a few games this weekend
and we will try to get everything ready so when we get to Barbados we will be
in good stead. We are focussed on doing very well and ultimately winning. We
will take it step by step, game by game.”

Lambert is banking on his batsmen
to deliver. “It is always good to have Marlon in the team. He has been training
very hard to get back into the team and with his experience in the middle-order
it will help to strengthen the batting.

“We have some very experienced
players in the team and everyone will have a part to play if we are to do well
in the Caribbean T20. We need a good contribution from everyone. I believed we
have a balanced team and a good all-round team. Andre Russell did well with
West Indies A team in England and we know what a player like Chris Gayle is
capable of. He has done it at the international level many times and we will
certainly benefit from his experience in our team unit.”

The winner of the tournament, which
starts in Barbados on Thursday, qualifies for the Champions League to be held
in South Africa in September. “It would be extremely nice to win and move on to
the Champions League, but first the focus of everyone must be on the Caribbean
T20. If we want to make it to South Africa we have to first take care of
business in the region,” Lambert said. “When we look at the teams in our zone,
Trinidad and Tobago have done well in this version of the game. We will be
planning well for all the teams. The focus will be on the Leewards in the first
game and after that we will move on to the other opponents as the matches come
up.”

Soon after the squad was announced,
Jamaica’s chairman of selectors, former offspinner, Nehemiah Perry resigned.
While there was speculation that the resignation was a result of Perry being
upset over the captaincy handed to Lambert over Gayle, Courtney Francis, the
Jamaica Cricket Association’s cricket operations officer denied any
controversy.

Jamaica squad: Tamar Lambert
(capt), Nikita Miller, Danza Hyatt, Marlon Samuels, Xavier Marshall, Chris
Gayle, Brenton Parchment, Wavell Hinds, David Bernard, Odean Brown, Krishmar
Santokie, Andrew Richardson, Andre Russell, Carlton Baugh (wk), Junior Bennett
(coach).

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