AFTER having rested for the first round, the Barbados cricket team arrived in the island yesterday ready to face champions Jamaica in the second round of the Regional Four-Day tournament at Sabina Park this weekend.
Barbados Sports Personality of the Year and new captain Kirk Edwards was the picture of composure in tinted glasses as he sauntered through the Norman Manley International Airport upon the team's arrival.
"We're always looking forward to play Jamaica. We have a good relationship with Jamaica so it's no different this time around," Edwards told the Observer.
Edwards was seemingly not perturbed by the fact that his team failed to make the semi-finals of last year's competition and, in fact, have been faltering in the first-class game in recent years.
"Our cricket went through some phases like any other team goes through, so every year you come you're looking to do something special.
"It's not every time that it happens; you just have to keep working and this year is the same thing."
Former Combined Colleges and Campuses (CCC) captain Omar Phillips and English county team Surrey pick, Christopher Jordan, were included in a Barbados line up which looks only vaguely familiar to the one which played in the competition last year, with the inclusion of former captain Ryan Hinds, Tino Best and Suliemann Benn.
The right-handed Edwards explained that the make-up of the team reflects the changing fortunes of the individual players.
"In the case where some people lose form and some people proved themselves over a period of time they deserve the opportunity. That's just how it goes," he said.
Edwards, who smashed a Test century against India on debut for the West Indies in July last year, was one of those who have proven himself and he said being elevated to the captaincy has been a privilege for him.
"It's an honour, it's a privilege to be captaining Barbados, so I just do it to the best of my ability," he said, adding: "Pressure is a state of mind.''
Manager Livingstone Coppin was also confident that his players, including Edwards, who previously led the team two seasons ago, were prepared and ready to tackle the formidable Jamaica side.
"We have a well-prepared team. These guys have been working on their game over the three months or so; they're fairly prepared. We have quite a few fellows who have been doing well, so we expect some good performances," he said.
He added: "We do fairly well against Jamaica. It's usually a very competitive game and we're really looking forward to it,"