‘Biggest Party in Sport’ takes centre stage in Florida

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* Guyana Amazon Warriors and Barbados Tridents play tonight in first of six matches in the US

BY JOHN RAMISNGH in Lauderhill Florida

The Guyana Amazon Warriors and Barbados Tridents will be part of history as the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) makes its long awaited debut in the United States of America with the first of six matches bowling off this evening in Florida.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors were having their final practice session ahead of the historic match while the ground staff were seen putting the final touches to the venue to have it in perfect shape for the expected sold out crowd at the Central County Broward Recreational Park in Lauderhill.
Amazon Warriors Head coach, Roger Harper and Assistant coach Esuan Crandon were seen taking the players through their paces while Umpires Leslie Reifer Jr and Peter Nero took the opportunity to get some ‘nets’ in as well, which is now a custom for modern Umpires.
On the task at hand, both camps are focused knowing that nothing more than a victory is needed.
Guyana Amazon Warriors Captain Rayad Emrit said his team is looking to win both matches to put themselves in a good position in the play-offs but reiterated the importance of taking it one match at a time and not getting too far ahead of themselves.

Amazon Warriors Manager Omar Khan (third left) and members of the team were in an interactive session with young fans

Amazon Warriors Manager Omar Khan (third left) and members of the team were in an interactive session with young fans

Warriors opening batsman Nic Maddinson had a good knock in the nets

Warriors opening batsman Nic Maddinson had a good knock in the nets

 The new addition to the venue is the CPL VIP pavilion

The new addition to the venue is the CPL VIP pavilion

Guyana Amazon Warriors bowlers under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Roger Harper

Guyana Amazon Warriors bowlers under the watchful eyes of Head Coach Roger Harper

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was in the grand stand

Shivnarine Chanderpaul was in the grand stand

His opposite number, Kieron Pollard said that despite the Warriors not having the ‘big’ names in their camp they play as a team which is very important. The outspoken Pollard also said that Rayad Emrit, a former Trident player, is very capable of getting the job done. Pollard said it is a must win game for his team and they are committed to go all-out with nothing more than a victory on their minds.
The straight boundaries are short and there is a high wind blowing across the ground from east to west and both Emrit and Pollard are aware of that and are prepared to counter the effects. The pitch is laden with dry grass and both captains said that they have full squads of 16 fit members to choose from and they will make a final assessment before deciding on their final composition.
Legendary former West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul was also at the Central Broward County Recreational Park among a group of 15 cricket coaches and was a favourite among those gathered at the venue as well.
Manager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors Omar Khan along with players Dwayne Smith, Steven Jacobs and Adam Zampa took time off from their practice session to interact with young and prospective cricketers who gathered at the ground to get a glimpse of their stars ahead of their key clash this evening. The cricketers told the youngsters the importance of working hard to get what they need out of life and also the importance of balancing academics with playing sports (cricket).
The Warriors players also signed autographs and took photographs with the young American fans while Adam Zampa gave an aspiring leg spinner some tips on the art of bowling and later presented him with his own number 63 Adam Zampa tee-shirt.
The large diaspora of Caribbean citizens in Florida mixing with the curious Americans will all be part of history as they experience the biggest party on sport and the memory will be with them for a long time to come.

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