Bonner aims high
BATSMAN Nkrumah Bonner aims to play a key role for Jamaica as the country hunts success at the Nagico Super50 cricket tournament to be staged in Trinidad & Tobago from January 30 to February 16.
Jamaica failed to defend their Super50 success of two seasons ago as they faltered to eventual champions Windward Islands in a semi-final loss in the previous edition of the competition. But the 24-year-old Bonner did his reputation no harm and was the top Jamaican batsman in the tournament with a team-high of 294 runs.
As the Junior Bennett-coached squad continues its fine-tuning with a host of practice matches and training sessions, Bonner expressed an interest in spending valuable time at the batting crease.
"The key basically is to spend some time at the crease. In recent times I've been playing only T20 [Twenty20] cricket. It's about batting and getting a feel for the ball on the bat," he told the Sunday Observer recently.
If all goes to plan, he has set ambitious targets.
"Last year I scored the most runs for Jamaica. However, it wasn't good enough; we fell short. This year I want to aim for most runs in the entire competition to help us to win the cup," the sidelined West Indies T20 player explained.
The solid right-hander, who usually bats at number three for Jamaica, and who bowls tidy wrist-spin, is obviously seen as a leader, even at his relatively young age.
He has captained in squad matches — a responsibility he seems to relish.
"That kind of responsibility helps any young player. When you get to the wicket [to bat] you know you have that added responsibility to hold up the team and help put the team in a winning position. I was given that responsibility and I had senior players to help me along, and so far so good," he said.
Bonner, who has played two T20 matches for the West Indies team, has enjoyed moderate success at the regional domestic level.
He has struck one century in 27 first-class matches at an average of 21.19. He has also taken 22 wickets at 24.13.
In 21 One-Day matches at the domestic level, Bonner averages 28.05 with a solitary hundred to his name. He has grabbed 15 wickets at 16.26 apiece.
Giant West Indies left-hander Christopher Gayle has been named the skipper of the 14-member Jamaica squad.