Veteran McCarthy eager to ‘perform’ in Super50 Cup
JAMAICA Scorpions cricketer Andre McCarthy says he will grab the opportunity with both hands following his inclusion in the 14-man squad as a replacement for Brandon King for the regional Super50 Cup.
The veteran batsman had previously been named among the Scorpions team’s reserves. However, he was drafted on the eve of the tournament when it was confirmed that 28-year-old King, the West Indies white-ball top-order batsman, had not sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury.
“It’s always an honour and a pleasure playing for Jamaica. My aim is to just go out there and perform,” McCarthy, 36, said.
“It’s the nature of the way sport is — things happen the way they are supposed to happen. This happened in my favour and I just have to give thanks,” he said regarding the opportunity which arose due to King’s injury.
“My form has been really good, I’ve been hitting the ball well, so it’s just for me to… acclimatise very [quickly] and just go out there and perform,” the middle-order batsman told the Jamaica Observer.
King was the second top runs scorer for the Scorpions in the last campaign as they lifted the Super50 Cup. He had an aggregate of 337 runs from eight innings.
Scorpions Captain Rovman Powell, who led the tournament’s runs chart last season with 346 runs in eight knocks, said King’s absence will be a huge blow.
But he said replacing King with McCarthy, who has West Indies white-ball experience and averages 34.22 in 80 50-over matches at this level, is indication of the Scorpions’ squad depth.
“Obviously, it’s a big loss. Brandon had been a consistent scorer for us last season and we were hoping that he would be fit and ready to go this year, but those things do happen.
“It’s good when you look at a team like Jamaica and you see Brandon King pulling out and you have Andre McCarthy as a replacement. All of us know Andre has been a very successful campaigner for us over his career of playing List A (50-over) cricket in the Caribbean. Brandon comes with runs, so does Andre McCarthy. They are two experienced guys, and it’s very good for us to have such a replacement,” the skipper expressed.
Though he was not near his best, McCarthy was the third top scorer for the Scorpions last season with 186 runs in eight innings.
The eight-team 2023 Super50 tournament, to be staged in Trinidad and Tobago, gets underway at 8 am (Jamaica time) with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force facing Combined Campuses and Colleges at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
That will be followed by the Guyana Harpy Eagles versus Windward Islands Volcanoes encounter which is to start at 12 pm Jamaica time at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
The Scorpions are to begin their title defence against Leeward Islands Hurricanes on Wednesday at midday, Jamaica time in Tarouba.
The group stage is scheduled to be held in a round robin format, with the top four teams progressing to the semi-finals from November 8 to 9. The championship match is set for November 11. The semi-finals and final are slated for Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
— Sanjay Myers