The West Indies Cricket Board will mark the second season of its Regional 4-day Professional Cricket League when the games get going on Friday.
The games will be played under the same franchise format as it did last year featuring 10 rounds of matches that will be played over a 5-month period between the teams drawn from the six territorial boards of the WICB.
The teams will no doubt be seeking to gain bragging rights in taking home the Headley/Weekes Trophy, the symbol of regional supremacy.
Guyana Jaguars is the reigning champion, and there will be intense rivalry to wrest the trophy from them.
The tournament should also churn out a number of new players that are not only hungry for success at this level, but are prepared to step up to the plate and parade their skills for the West Indies team.
The fact is a number of older players have lost the appetite for playing in the West Indies set up and more often than not prefer to jet off to play in the IPL league to show case their talents and pull in much more dough than the W.I. can afford to offer.
This, therefore, means that opportunities abound galore for the new set players to stamp their class and become the next West Indies stars in this season 4-day tournament.
One of the teams that will be carefully watched this year is the young Jamaican team with a number of exciting new players.
In their first outing they will be matching skills against Barbados Pride, a team that boast seven West Indies players.
The Jamaica Scorpions will be led by former Jamaica Under-19 captain, Paul Palmer Jr, with the supporting cast of Carlton Baugh Jr. David Bernard Jr. John Campbell, Jason Dawes, Kirk Edwards, Damion Jacobs, Brandon King, Andre McCarthy, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Nicholson Gordon, and Chadwick Walton.
“I think Barbados is as weary about us as we are of them as we are good team as they are a good team,” David Bernard Jr. reportedly told the press.
However, over the years we have had good battles, and, often times we have got the better of them, so it should be close.”
“It’s, therefore, about going out there, and play to the plans that we have set out,” he added.
After a disappointing season last year, Jamaica will be seeking to turn their fortune around by building their game around the likes of Edwards, Baugh Jr., and Walton, who have all proved that they got the goods and can deliver.
However, the team also boasts some exciting new players who from all indications in pre-season matches are in top form.
The opening pair of John Campbell and Captain Paul Palmer Jr. will no doubt be seeking to light up the Kensington oval thus adding some nostalgia of the Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge era.
In addition, Andre McCarthy and Brandon King can take any bowling attack apart when they get going.
That said, Jamaica will be looking to their bowling department of Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Jason Dawes, and Damion Jacobs to put the sting into the Bajan Pride.
At the same time, Barbados boasts a solid batting line up in Captain Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, Shane Dowrich, and Shai Hope and the Scorpions will have to come good to tame them.
On the other hand, the Bajan Pride will be depending on the likes of Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Kevin Stoute, and Jomel Warrican to take the sting out of the Scorpions.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
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