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SUPER CENTRE SPARTAN
Position last year: Fourth
Home ground: Queen’s Park
Captain: To be appointed.
Coach: Dave Marshall
Manager: Richard Lorde
In: Chaim Holder (Barbados Youth)
Unavailable at start of season: Shamarh Brooks (playing in Dubai), Sulieman Benn (will be on Barbados duties)
OVERVIEW: Super Centre Spartan have easily the toughest draw at the start of the season, but it could prove decisive.
Their first three matches are against CGI Maple, Sagicor UWI and ICBL Empire – the top three teams of last year.
No team has probably had a more difficult assignment at the start of any season over the past two decades. But with a settled crop of players, Spartan are confident of placing no lower than second.
Last season’s captain Shamarh Brooks and key left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn will miss the first match, but Spartan welcome former Barbados Youth off-spinner Chaim Holder, who extends a long list of former Combermere students to join the club in the past ten years.
The youthful Marrodon Benn was one of the standouts last season, his 613 runs making him the tournament’s second highest run-scorer.
It is a feat he will want to repeat, while Brooks will also look to repeat his heavy scoring of last year once he returns to a line-up that will also depend on Rashidi Boucher, Rohan Nurse and the returning Reydon Toppin.
The bowling will revolve around Benn, fellow left-arm spinner Andre Marshall, who was the third highest wicket-taker last year, the versatile Andre Gill and pacer Jeremy Marshall.
EXPECTATIONS: Dave Marshall (coach): “We expect to finish in the first two. After being the only club to compete with UWI over the last four to five years, I think we have a good chance of winning the Cup once the guys stay focused and do the little things that are needed.
“I don’t have a problem with playing the top three teams first. It is better to get the harder teams out of the way.
If we can come out with maximum points in two of those games, when you meet the lesser teams in the middle of the season, you should press home from there.”
PREDICTION: Top four. Spartan have always been competitive and should be among those challenging for second place.