— “I’m guaranteeing you we will be giving a 150% effort to do well” – Omar Khan
By Akeem Greene
The Guyana Amazon Warriors departed these shores on Sunday from the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, Ogle, enroute to St. Kitts and Nevis for their first match of the 2016 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) against the hosts on Thursday June 30.
Team Manager Omar Khan expressed glowing optimism that the Warriors will be giving their best effort and is asking for the support of the Guyanese fans as the team seeks to cop the coveted trophy this year.
“Just give us the support, we know you are very passionate about their cricket, we know you love the cricket and I’m guaranteeing you we will be giving our 150% effort to do well and make Guyana proud,” Khan said.
The Warriors will be in search of their first title win this year after coming up short in two finals, one against the Jamaica Tallawahs in the inaugural tournament and then against the Barbados Tridents the year after.
The team which is predominantly comprised of local players have some faces joining the squad for the first time and the manager believes that the team synergy needs to be up in order to reap success.
Khan said, “The most important thing is to let the guys have an appreciation for each other, support one another and understand that we are all uniquely different and we got to appreciate each other’s skills and talents and support one another as a team in order for the team to be successful.”
Captain Martin Guptill leads an experienced and talented international quartet of players, in Sohail Tanvir, Chris Lynn and Adam Zampa. The regional players such as Rayad Emrit, Jason Mohammed, Orlando Peters, Steven Katwaroo, Dwayne Smith along with ICC Americas player Muhammad Ahsan Ali Khan are expected to produce telling contributions throughout the tournament.
The team undoubted has some of the top talents in the region but the Manager is of the view that being able to quickly analyze situations on the field is what really gives the player the edge.
“Most importantly, it is for the guys to be focused on the task ahead and to get focused they need to get their mindset right and that is what we trying to do; at the end of the day, the game is played with brains and more utilising the ability to think through situations and that’s what we trying to get the guys to focus on,” the team Manager posited.
Khan also revealed that Martin Guptill is already in St. Kitts after arriving on Saturday and is eagerly anticipating the arrival of his team mates while Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa will join the team today since he was a part of the Tri-Nation Series final for Australia against the West Indies on Sunday in Barbados.
The Manager also alluded to the supportive roles the senior players in the squad are expected to lend to Captain Guptill, including the likes of Rayad Emrit and Christopher Barnwell who will need to give support to the skipper.
Head Coach Roger Harper expressed satisfaction in the level of preparation that the team underwent during their one-week camp.
“Considering the role the weather played, we are very happy with what we managed to do, we got in three good simulation exercises, we had one practice game and I think the guys played pretty well, so we’re happy with where we are” the head coach explained.
This is the third year the former West Indies player will be coaching the Warriors and he believes the team is upbeat about their first match and they have to consistently play good cricket in all of their matches.
“We are looking to hit St. Kitts raring to go; I think all the teams in the competition, are pretty well balanced teams, teams with good strengths and we expect each to be very competitive, so we have to play really good cricket,’” he explained.
At the recent practice match, seamer Tanvir bowled impressively as did leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo; on the batting side, Assad Fudadin, Jason Mohammed, Chris Lynn and Anthony Bramble all showed good signs. In this regard, the coach believes that both departments will have to come good in the tournament.
“Home game or game away, it is important our bowlers are in good form so we can put pressure on the opposing batsmen and bowl well as a unit, but what was pleasing was that our batters showed pretty good form, so we can be able to bat well and put good numbers on the board when we start the tournament,” Harper posited.
After playing the Patriots at Warner Park on Thursday, they will move to Trinidad and Tobago to play the defending champions, Trinbago Knight Riders on July 2.
Then return home for their four home matches which will begin on July 7 with a clash against the Jamaica Tallawahs at 19:00 Hrs. The Warriors will then take on the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots on July 9 from midday.
The highly anticipated return fixture against the Trinbago Knight Riders will occur on July 10 also from 19:00 Hrs while the final home match is against the St. Lucia Zouks on July 12 from 19:00 Hrs.
Guyana Amazon Warriors Squad; Martin Guptill (Captain) Sohail Tanvir, Dwayne Smith, Chris Lynn, Rayad Emrit, Adam Zampa, Jason Mohammed, Christopher Barnwell, Veerasammy Permaul, Orlando Peters, Assad Fudadin, Anthony Bramble, Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs, Steven Katwaroo, Muhammad Ahsan Ali Khan , Shimron Hetmyer, Devendra Bishoo