Scorpions coach Coley welcomes Jamaican Government’s latest approval for cricket trainingTuesday, April 27, 2021
BY SANJAY MYERS
Jamaica Scorpions Head Coach Andre Coley says he welcomes the Jamaican Government's latest approval for cricket training as local players prepare for upcoming competition.
Earlier this month, the Jamaica Cricket Association received Government's permission to host international cricket matches and stage training sessions while participants adhere to strict health protocols to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.
Under previous guidelines each Scorpions' training session was limited to groups of three to four players which impacted their preparation for the regional Super50 Cup in February. But Coley said the limit has now increased to 10, giving the coaching staff the opportunity to better replicate match scenarios in training.
“When we were just returning to training months ago the guidelines required us to use smaller numbers. Now it is probably easier for us to do anything that is close to a game simulation type of training. The gathering limit is 15 people, so when we look at it we can have around 10 players plus the support staff,” Coley told the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview yesterday.
“It won't be 100 per cent like a game, but having a few more players available allows you to create an environment. And going into any upcoming matches it should give us a better transition,” he said.
The former Jamaica wicketkeeper added: “Increasing the number is a plus, but it will still be done under the protocols set out. And for all players that we're bringing in we have to make sure we educate them and that they are aware of all the protocols.”
Though Cricket West Indies has not officially called off this year's regional four-day competition it is widely accepted it will not be held due to logistical challenges and health concerns. The back-up proposal is to organise matches within each territory to get players ready and for regional selectors to make assessments ahead of planned Test series against South Africa and Pakistan this summer.
In the build-up to the Super50 tournament in Antigua two months ago, the Scorpions were disadvantaged by not having full squad training and practice matches, and the limited preparation noticeably affected their batting, fielding and bowling.
They lost their opening three games, and only squeezed into the semi-finals after winning their final two preliminary encounters.
In the last-four clash versus eventual champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, the Scorpions were thoroughly outplayed and went down by six wickets.
Reflecting on the patchy displays throughout the Super50 tournament, Coley accepted that less-than-ideal preparation played a significant role.
“It was difficult [though] I'm not going to say that was the main reason for our performances. Sometimes, you want to know you leave for a tournament, and if you're not 100 per cent, you're close to it. But I don't think we were ever close to that because we weren't [training] at the same time,” he told the Observer.
“Having more players will help us to prepare now, but we are not going to allow it to get out of hand with big numbers training at one time. We still are going to stay within the guidelines so we can manage it, while giving us the opportunity to simulate stuff. Everybody wants to train and all of that, so we have to try to manage it,” Coley reiterated.
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