Keen tussle likely
A keen contest is expected between the Barbados-based Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) and Trinidad and Tobago at the 3Ws Oval in a day and night Regional First-class opening round cricket match to be contested under the lights and with a pink ball.
CCC finished runners-up to Jamaica last year, when their batting collapsed twice in the horror show that was the fFinal at the same venue.
They will be hoping the strides they made last year to finish the round robin in top place will rub off on this year’s crop and inspire them to reach for greater heights.
Trinidad and Tobgo will be energised by their recent CaribbeanT20 triumph, but the venue has not been a happy hunting ground for them.
There is not much to separate the two sides over the last four seasons with each winning two of the five matches they have played.
Trinidad and Tobago have a load of weapons this time with all of their international stars, barring injured fast-medium bowler Ravi Rampaul, present.
CCC’s fast bowling attack looks well served, with the Jamaican Jason Dawes, as well as Barbadians Kevin McClean and Jason Holder to support the slow bowling attack that comprises off-spinner Ryan Austin, left-arm spinner Yannick Ottley, as well as leg-spinners Akeem Dewar and all-rounder Nkrumah Bonner.
CCC off-spinner Ryan Austin is hoping that another successful season earns him a West Indies call-up.
Last year, he was the leading wicket-taker, snatching 44 wickets at just under 20 apiece to fire CCC into the final, but hopes a similar performance will also catch the attention of regional selectors.
“I am looking to be the leading wicket-taker again this year. This is one of the main goals I have set for myself. I took the most wickets in 2009 as well, so I want to continue my consistent performances and put pressure on the batsmen all the time,” the 30-year-old Barbadian said.
“My job is also about getting CCC back on top of the table again and this time around not just to make it to the final but also win the trophy. I believe if I do this I could catch the attention and impress the West Indies selectors and come into the picture to play Test cricket.
“I would love to get an opportunity to play in the West Indies team. I played against Bangladesh in the Caribbean back in 2009 and enjoyed it.
We have four first-class matches before the Aussies come and I am looking to do well and try to get a look-in.”
Austin has played two Tests – against Bangladesh three years ago during the bitter players strike – but has not been in the mix since. However, he boasts an impressive regional record with 226 wickets at just over 24 runs apiece, in nine seasons. (EZS/CMC)