Sports

Paul Palmer relishing role as Jamaica Scorpions skipper

...Team off for four-day assignment against Barbados Pride

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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PAUL Palmer, about to embark on another stint as Jamaica Scorpions cricket captain, is confident that experience has brought him up to speed on how to lead the team, as well as manage his role as a batsman.

The Scorpions, who were due to depart the island yesterday, are set to open their 2018-19 West Indies four-day account away to Barbados Pride at Three Ws Oval on Thursday.

“I was there before, so this is another chance to do better. It's a good feeling to lead your country, and to be responsible for [what happens] on the field,” Palmer, 26, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Palmer, the former national youth captain, led the Scorpions three seasons ago, but lost his place in the squad in the middle of his debut campaign with the Jamaica franchise, after dismal individual and team results.

But given the chance again last season when regular skipper Nikita Miller was absent, Palmer, who made his first-class debut for Combined Campuses and Colleges in 2014, filled in admirably.

He even notched his maiden first-class hundred in his 19th match — an attractive 136 against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in a drawn fixture at Sabina Park.

While slow left-arm orthodox bowler Miller, 36, remains the team's premier spinner, he has stepped aside as team leader, leaving Palmer with the captaincy responsibility.

The former St Elizabeth Technical High School student appears to relish the challenge and notes that he is improving with each opportunity.

“One could say it affected my batting the first time around because I didn't really produce as I should have. But I captained last year and I managed to amass about 500 runs. In my debut season as the [Scorpions] captain it was difficult to balance, but last season I scored my maiden first-class century so I think I've found the balance.

“Experience teaches wisdom, so it's just for me to remember mistakes I've made and try to correct them. Also, to remember mistakes made as a team and fix them going forward,” Palmer explained.

He said experienced players in the squad like Miller, 33-year-old wicketkeeper Chadwick Walton and 34-year-old Barbadian-born Kenroy Williams provide effective support.

“It will help me a lot and to have those guys around; it's a good thing because I can bounce ideas off them and that can help to guide my decisions,” he explained.

The Scorpions, who last won the regional four-day title in the 2011-12 campaign, finished fourth last season behind four-time defending champions Guyana Jaguars and runners-up Barbados Pride.

Palmer thinks this crop of players, comprising both youthful and seasoned players, could be just the right mix.

“I think we can do very well because we have gained experience and we are getting more and more people in West Indies colours. With the help of Nikita Miller — last year he was away, and I think that dampened our chances — we can do better. Most of the games he didn't play in we drew them because we didn't bowl people out twice,” Palmer told the Observer.

Squad: Paul Palmer (captain), John Campbell, Chadwick Walton, Reynard Leveridge, Kenroy Williams, Jermaine Blackwood, Andre McCarthy, Steven Taylor, Jermaine Levy, Aldaine Thomas, Dennis Bulli, Nikita Miller, Derval Green.


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