JDF's Gilzene eager for Scorpions debut
GILZENE...you have to really put your best foot forward because you're not just looking to compete against your opponent.

JAMAICA Defence Force batsman Tevin Gilzene says he relishes the chance to join the Jamaica Scorpions squad for Wednesday's start of the regional four-day cricket match against Barbados Pride in Antigua.

Gilzene was drafted in as a squad replacement after Alwyn Williams had to withdraw from the Scorpions' first-round match against Leeward Islands Hurricanes last week due to medical reasons.

"I'm elated… [after] my hard work and all the runs and everything I've done last year and carrying over into this year," the 28-year-old top-order batsman said in reference to his prolific form in local cricket over the past year.

"I really think I performed really well. I'm by no means happy by the way things turned out but I see this as my opportunity to express myself," he told the Jamaica Observer before he departed for Antigua on Sunday.

Aside from his dominant batting in local cricket, which first grabbed the selectors' attention, the right-handed batsman was among the top run-getters during the Scorpions' preparation matches, tallying 231 runs. He scored two half-centuries, including a best of 88.

As he eyes the possibility of his Scorpions debut this season, he noted the challenge will be greater on the regional stage. But as someone who backs himself as a thinking cricketer, he is confident success will come.

"It's a whole different weight, it's a whole different ball game at that level. You have to really put your best foot forward, because you're not just looking to compete against your opponent but really you're looking to represent yourself well, to potentially play for the West Indies and further beyond to clubs around the world where a lot of people are watching.

"Cricket is a brain game, and once I put in the work and I'm mentally fit and stable, the skills part will come after — and I believe that's where my strength comes from," he explained.

The Scorpions are fifth in the six-team standings with 6.2 points after the drawn match against the Hurricanes, who are fourth with 7.4. Guyana Harpy Eagles (20 points) have an early lead after they beat reigning two-time champions Barbados Pride (4.8), while Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (10.2) and Windward Islands Volcanoes (8.4), who drew their contest, occupy second and third places, respectively.

Squad – Paul Palmer (captain), Leroy Lugg, Kirk McKenzie, Aldaine Thomas, Romaine Morris, Jamie Merchant, Akim Fraser, Abhijai Mansingh, Patrick Harty, Marquino Mindley, Gordon Bryan, Tevin Gilzene, Ojay Shields.

— Sanjay Myers

Sanjay Myers

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