Yes, we can!
New?Barbados Twenty20 captain Kirk Edwards believes that his side has what it takes to capture the 2012 Caribbean T20 championship, symbol of supremacy among regional territories in the game’s shortest format.
Speaking to MIDWEEK?SPORT last week during the four-day UWI Cave Hill Twenty20 Festival, Edwards expressed full confidence in the local side’s ability to capture the championship for the first time.
“DefiniteIy. I was never doubtful about the ability of these players. I’ve played with the guys for a number of years and I have seen different guys do different things at different times so I’m always extra proud when I look around the field and see people I can call on in any given situation and that is very pleasing to me,” Edwards said.
The former Alexandra School student who made his entry to international cricket during last year’s World Cup and later distinguished himself with a century on his Test debut against India in Dominica in July, said he was confident in his ability to handle the captaincy job although his personal form has been a slight concern.
“I’ve been settling pretty good, but I’m a bit rusty in terms of Twenty20 match practice. I’ve had a few injuries and this [Twenty20 Festival] is my first opportunity to play Twenty20 in about a year or so but in terms of captaincy and managing the guys, I’m finding it pretty easy at the moment. The guys are cooperating so I’m pleased with that.
“The team preparations have been brilliant but I haven’t had much turf practice and have been mainly practising in the indoor nets so the surface has been different and I am finding my feet and looking to make the adjustment.”
He welcomed the opportunity provided by the UWI tournament at the 3Ws Oval.
“Its definitely a good chance to gauge where you are at in terms of strategy and planning and so far so good.”
Presently boasting a record of 595 runs from 12 innings in six Tests the 27-year-old right-hander, who represented the West Indies Under-19s and West Indies A before his elevation to full international status, said he cherished the privilege of leading the national team and wants to make a contribution to the future of the local game.
“Of course it was always a pride and joy to play for Barbados alone, far less captain, so obviously it is a role I cherish. I’ll be doing my best as far as having the chance to continue in this role.”
Edwards who represents Wanderers in the Upper Intermediate Division in domestic competition was full of praise for the initiative taken by the Barbados Cricket Association in offering retainer contracts to selected players.
“I see Barbados cricket on the rise and the BCA is making a good start as far as making the guys kind of professional in their outlook. The opportunity to go down to Kensington and train on a daily basis is definitely a step in a positive direction. I can see the benefits beginning to show in the way we are fielding very well and playing quite good as a unit.”
The Barbados team, who have been drawn in Group B, will have their first match tomorrow against the Netherlands, a night game at 8 p.m. The competition which began Monday will see matches played at the Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua until Saturday before switching to Kensington Oval from next Tuesday until the final on January 22.