Paul Palmer to lead youthful Jamaica Scorpions

Saturday, October 24, 2015

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NEWLY appointed captain of the Jamaica Scorpions, Paul Palmer, is only 23 years old and has just two first class cricket games -- for Combined Campuses and Colleges -- under his belt.

However, Coach Junior Bennett believes Palmer's considerable experience and success as a captain since age-group competitions will help him to fit easily as a leader of the Jamaica franchise in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Professional Cricket League which begins next month.

"There can be no question about it, he (Palmer) has been given a huge responsibility, but I strongly believe he can cope with it," said Bennett.

Palmer led St Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) with great success and also led Jamaica teams with success at the Under-19 levels, taking the regional three-day and one-day double in 2009. He is now leader of the University of the West Indies team which is doing well in domestic cricket.

Bennett, a former Jamaica Under-19 coach, who served as coach at STETHS for many years before stepping up to the national senior level in 2007, has kept a close eye on Palmer. The national coach claims the left-handed opener has consistently shown the capacity to perform with the bat while leading and he expects him to continue to do so.

"He did it well at age-group level and I am one of those who firmly believe that those who perform at age-group level are very likely to also perform as seniors, once they are given the chance," Bennett said.

Palmer, son of former Under-19 Jamaica batsman Paul Palmer and nephew of the former Jamaica batsman Dixieth Palmer, managed just 15 runs in his two first-class games for the Combined Campuses and Colleges in 2014. However, he was one of four centurions in the recent series of Jamaica trial matches.

He will have another very young man, 22-year-old opener John Campbell as his vice-captain.

Bennett said the management team will be expecting senior players, in what is a largely youthful squad, to show good support for their young captain in the upcoming season.

Barbadian batsman Kirk Edwards, as well as wicketkeeper/batsman Carlton Baugh, all-rounder David Bernard, left-arm spinner Nikita Miller and wicketkeeper/batsman Chadwick Walton are the most experienced players in the 13-man squad for the opening game against Barbados starting November 9 in Bridgetown. All five have represented West Indies in Tests as well as the shorter versions.

Middle order batsman Tamar Lambert, who stepped away as Jamaica captain following last year's disappointing season on the back of a string of championship titles down the years, was omitted.

Squad: Paul Palmer Jr (captain), John Campbell (vice-captain), Kirk Edwards, Carlton Baugh jr, Nikita Miller, David Bernard jr, Brandon King, Chadwick Walton, Andre McCarthy, Damion Jacobs, Marquinho Mindley, Jason Dawes, Nicholson Gordon.

-- Garfield Myers

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