Port-of-Spain, Trinidad –Trinidad & Tobago coach David Williams is confident that he has the right pieces in place to mount a challenge to win the Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament for an unprecedented third straight year.
The former West Indies wicketkeeper and assistant coach re-taken the reins of directing strategy for the two-island republic’s national team and has brought his usual calm, measured approach to the job.
He expects a major challenge from the other six teams, but believes the Red Force have the depth to win again.
Last year, they had an early slip-up against Windward Islands, but rebounded to hammer all their opponents, including an easy win over Jamaica in the Final.
“We have a good mix of youth and experience,” said Williams, “…and once we play to our true potential, we can win the tournament again.
“We’re fully confident. . .The team we have is one with lots of experience. I’m certain once we have experience, we can win the tournament again.
“We have quite a few players who were members of the victorious West Indies teams, as well as others who are capable of great things at this level. We have included a few new, young players who are eager to represent T&T. The signs are all positive.”
T&T have a few of the best T20 players in the World. They include all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, power-hitter Kieron Pollard and ace spinner Sunil Narine – all three were important members of the West Indies team which won the ICC World T20 Tournament in Sri Lanka in October.
T&T participated in the Champions League in South Africa earlier this year and a defeat to Yorkshire in the first qualifier ended their run before it even began.
Williams is hoping to have another shot at that competition next year, the prize for the 2013 Caribbean T20 winners.
“In South Africa it was tough,” he explained. “We knew (if we lost) one game, we were out. We did prepare very well prior for that tournament, but we just didn’t play well enough in that game, particularly when bowling. That knocked us out.”
This year’s Caribbean T20 will see a change in format this year with all the teams facing each other in a round-robin stage.
Williams welcomes the change, which he believes will not affect his team’s chances to keep the trophy in T&T.
“The round-robin didn’t happen in South Africa, which was a one-off qualifier,” he said. “We’re happy with the new format. We’re happy to play against all the teams and that augurs well for the team that wins the tournament.”
The T&T players have been in camp for a few weeks and this will lead straight into their opening match against Jamaica before home fans at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday, January 6 here.