Jamaica Tallawahs is the first team to arrive in Florida ahead of the six matches in this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) from July 28 to 31 at the Central Broward County Recreational Park in Lauderhill, Florida. Their stars; Kumar Sangakkara, Rovman Powell, Chadwick Walton and Coach Paul Nixon conducted a coaching clinic, in association with the International Cricket Council, for 150 children at the match venue on Friday morning.
History will be made when Guyana Amazon Warriors face Barbados Tridents on Thursday July 28 from 19:00h.
In addition, Hero CPL CEO Damien O’Donohoe was joined by City of Lauderhill Mayor Richard J. Kaplan, Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness to discuss the opportunities for growth of West Indies and American cricket
Coach of the Tallawahs, Paul Nixon, speaking on the move to Florida, mentioned that “it is simply amazing. I’ve been here with the inaugural year and seeing the standard of cricket and world class performers we have set the alarms off.”
Nixon complimented the organizers for lifting the standards and professionalism that have grown with the tournament as well as thanked them for the opportunity to be pioneers and show the children the basics of the sport.
Top order batsman, Kumar Sanagakkara also weighed in on his return to Florida, having been a part of the Sri Lanka team who played two of the four T20Is hosted on this ground.
“It’s very exciting to be back in Florida. We played New Zealand here in 2010 and it was two closely contested games and it’s good to bring cricket back.”
The legend spoke of the privilege of being on the forefronts of pleasing the crowd.
“It is important to introduce the game to new viewership and encourage new spectators to come and watch the differences between cricket and baseball. Hopefully understand it and like it. Cricket viewership in the north has been one of the mainstays globally and for us as Tallawahs to be a part of that and ensure we play here with an eye on finishing on top of the table is important.”
Reminiscing on his games on the ground, the wicketkeeper/batsman noted that there has been much development with the pitch and the fans are in for a treat.
“The pitch looks very good and from the looks of it a lot of work has been done. The scores in the previous matches played here seem pretty good. We hope crowds come in and the ordinary Americans come in and see what we offer. Crowd participation is absolutely vital and it’s what drives the sport and hopefully good enough for two sides to have a good match.”
Nixon is energized before their Florida games as he has seen much change in the team since the inaugural tournament.
“To come out here with an exciting Tallawahs team, top of the league, things couldn’t be going any better. Guys have worked so well and we got world class stars with us. That blend of youth and experience has worked well with us. We’ve got a guy from the U.S.A, young Timroy Allen, who has been working closely with Dale Steyn over the last few weeks, so what more can a young cricketer want than to be with the very best in the world?”
Nixon added “The West Indies were heavily dependent on a few people and the Tallawahs were on Gayle and Russell a few years ago, thankfully now the management team has done well and picked a great squad and now every member of that squad is winning matches and that is crucial.” Young players such as Chadwick Walton and Rovman Powell were both highly motivated heading into their Florida matches.