Trinis set for T20 repeat

Despite the immense strength of the
Jamaican cricket team, manager Courtney Francis believes Trinidad and Tobago
are favourites to lift the inaugural regional T20 championship which starts on
Thursday in Barbados.

“Most definitely they are
favourites to win this competition,” Francis said. “But I see that working in
our favour, as it would take the pressure off us and place most of the pressure
on Trinidad.”

Over the next two weeks, eight
teams, including Canada, will battle for the right to represent the region at
the ICC Champions League in South Africa later this year.

Trinidad and Tobago surprised all
in the first-ever ICC Champions League played in India last year by reaching
the final, which ended in defeat.

And with the likes of captain Daren
Ganga, Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard, Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo, pundits
have installed the Trinis ahead of Jamaica to win the championship.

However, Francis said they’re not
daunted by this. “Our team is well rounded. We are strong in both batting and
bowling and if we can come up trumps in our fielding, then we can topple
anybody in the region.”

For the Jamaicans to be successful,
much will depend on West Indies captain Chris Gayle, who has a point to prove
after being overlooked by the Jamaican selectors, who opted for Tamar Lambert
to lead the side.

Gayle was at the helm
when Jamaica were beaten by Ganga’s team in the final of the now defunct
Stanford Twenty20 in 2008 and also in last year’s rain-affected regional
limited-over final, which saw the twin-island republic going on to represent
the region.