Tallawahs, Hawksbills arrive for CPL clash
JAMAICA Tallawahs and Antigua Hawksbills arrived in the island yesterday for their Limacol Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 (T20) clash at Sabina Park on Thursday.
The teams have had contrasting results so far. The Tallawahs, the defending champions, have triumphed in three of their four games, while the Hawksbills are yet to taste victory in five outings this season -- three of which were on home soil in Antigua.
Christopher Gayle, the captain of Jamaica Tallawahs, appeared unworried by defeat to the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel on Saturday, reasoning that three wins out of four on the road is more than satisfactory.
"We went away and played four games and won three, so we are really happy to actually win three games," Gayle told reporters at a welcome session at the Norman Manley International Airport hosted by Limacol CPL partners Digicel, and Tallawahs main team sponsors Appleton Estate Rum.
"We are back on home turf and we know the conditions best. Hopefully we get off to a good start on Thursday. We lost the last game, it was a great game [and] I thought both teams played well, but unfortunately we came out on the losing side," added the 34-year-old, who has scored 219 runs to lead his team.
The entire Tallawahs contingent was later greeted by sponsoring partners Jamaica Observer and Foska Oats at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.
Jamaican Marlon Samuels, the skipper of Antigua Hawksbills, alo ng with his teammates is anxious to finally get a win under their belts.
"We are here to get our first win, so we are just going to come out and continue to do the hard work and look towards the rest of the tournament," he said.
Samuels, 33, has been the top scorer for the Hawksbills with 180 runs.
"I can continue to do the best that I can, and hopefully I can inspire and lift the team," Samuels said.
Both captains also paid tribute to iconic Jamaican schoolboy cricket coach Roy McLean, who died last week.
Samuels, a former Kingston College player, was under the guidance of McLean, who was a pioneer in the development of the cricket programme at the school.
"It's just a bad time for me at the moment, losing Roy McLean, my coach. My condolences to his family. A couple nights ago, I lost a very good friend, so that's basically two deaths in the space of four days," said Samuels.
Gayle, who was an outstanding batsman in his time at Excelsior High, said McLean was also influential in his climb to stardom.
"RIP to Mr Mac. He's been a great person towards my cricketing career as well. I'm very thankful for what he did for me over the years as a youngster."
The Tallawahs will also battle the Guyana Amazon Warriors at Sabina Park on Saturday, before closing out their home tour against Barbados Tridents at the same venue on Sunday.