… as overseas players arrive for pre-tournament camp
Guyana Amazon Warriors’ newly-appointed Head Coach, Johan Botha hailed his team as one of the more consistent franchises and was delighted to be part of the team’s journey this year in their quest for the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.
Shortly after arriving in Guyana, Botha, the former South African limited-overs skipper during a brief interview on Thursday expressed his joy regarding his role as coach of the Warriors franchise this year.
“It’s exciting to finally get here and I’m looking forward to it. Obviously, we’ve got a good squad; Guyana has been a very consistent team over the course of all the CPLs, and hopefully, we can do something similar this year and go a couple of steps further,” said Botha.
One of the Proteas go-to men during the Graeme Smith era, the 36-year-old all-rounder, who had been a part of the tournament a few seasons ago as a player, said the goal this season was to ensure that the Warriors reach the top four. “Most teams will have in their mind to win it obviously, but I think our main goal for now is to be in the top four and from there, anything is possible.”
He continued, “We’ve seen in the past teams come in third and fourth and eventually win the tournament, so it’s in our minds to get to the play-offs; hopefully, we can have a couple of match-winners and some good games, then go all the way.”
Back in 2015, Botha was part of the current champs, the Trinbago Knight Riders (then Red Steel) squad, where his team endured a horrid time at the start of the tournament, but still managed to clinch a play-off spot before winning their final three games and the coveted title.
Lauding the CPL as a tournament, Botha noted that the Windies in particular have been a force in T20 cricket and as such, he expected stiff competition from the other franchises.
Guyana will host three of the five Guyana Amazon Warriors matches on August 9, 11 and 12 before going on the road for their away matches.
The Shoaib Malik-led side will then return to Providence for their final two preliminary matches in September and the Coach believes that it is important for the Warriors to have their fans support away and at home throughout the competition.
“We have three games at home to start and we would obviously like to start well and it will be great if we can have our fans supporting us before we go away for a few weeks,” Botha ended.
Meanwhile, the international and regional players have arrived in Guyana, where they will join the local players in the Guyana Amazon Warriors squad for the pre-tournament camp which begins today.
The Warriors will then commence their championship hunt when they play St Kitts & Nevis Patriots on August 9 at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence. (Clifton Ross)