Emrit it is
Another Trinidadian will captain the Barbados Tridents in the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 Cup in India.
Swing-bowling all-rounder Rayad Emrit was yesterday endorsed as the Tridents’ new skipper, taking over from his illustrious compatriot Kieron Pollard, who has opted to represent Mumbai Indians.
With big-hitting Barbadian Dwayne Smith playing for Chennai Super Kings and Pakistani Shoaib Malik on the Hobart Hurricanes’ roster, Tridents’ mentor and new head coach Desmond Haynes said the experienced Emrit was the next logical choice.
“Rayad has a lot of experience captaining Trinidad for the last couple of years, so even though ‘Polly’ has done a fantastic job for us in the CPL [Caribbean Premier League], we are sure Rayad will be able to handle the side very well,” Haynes said at a Press briefing at Hilton Barbados yesterday.
Haynes reiterated that nationality had nothing to do with the captaincy.
“Because our team is named Barbados Tridents, we don’t look at where you are from. If you are a Barbadian or if you are from Trinidad, we look at what you bring to the team,” he pointed out.
The legendary West Indies opener said Emrit and emerging Barbadian fast-bowling all-rounder Jason Holder, who has been elevated to the vice-captaincy, were the two players who the Tridents’ management looked at for leadership positions.
“We believe that Jason Holder has a lot of talent as a batsman and everybody knows what he can do bowling and also as a leader,” Haynes said.
“It was a situation where Rayad is the most senior player and it is Rayad as captain and Jason as the vice-captain as far as we are concerned.
“We didn’t look at it from the point of view that if you are from Trinidad or if you are from Barbados. The main fact is that you are a team member of the Barbados Tridents and that is very important,” Haynes said.
He said the loss of Pollard, Smith and Malik for the Tridents’ maiden Champions League outing was not surprising.
“We are disappointed, but at the beginning of the CPL tournament, we knew that we would lose these players anyway because when you compare the contracts that the Barbados Tridents have to a Mumbai Indians contract, there is no way you can get a Pollard playing for the Tridents if the Mumbai Indians qualify for the Champions League,” Haynes said.
“We know that we are going to miss these guys but the guys that we have in our side realise that this is a very big stage where there are a lot of opportunities. The purpose of this all is $2.5 million to win the tournament. I don’t think you need any more motivation than that.”
Emrit conceded that it will be a tough task leading a Barbados Tridents side without its marquee players, but he was confident the young players in the squad would rise to the occasion when the Tridents play their opening match against Kings XI Punjab on September 20.
“’Polly’ has been doing an excellent job for the Tridents for the last two years. Hopefully, I can do the same, if not go one step further and go all the way and bring another title for us. The Champions League is a tough tournament but I think that with the talent that we have, I think that we can give a good showing of ourselves,” Emrit said.
“The younger guys in the team showed what they are capable of in the CPL and with a lot more experience playing T20 cricket, now hopefully we can do the same in India,” he added.
Haynes also reckons the Champions League will provide an avenue for the Tridents players to showcase their skills in the international arena.
“The guys realise that this is a very serious competition where there is an opportunity to perform on a very big stage and you never know, some of the guys doing well in this tournament can go on to gain a contract in the IPL (Indian Premier League),” he said.
“The guys realise the benefits that you can get from it and, judging from what I have seen so far from the guys that I have been working with, look very keen.”