Pollard hails senior players for a key role in title triumph

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Wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin (right) congratulates Ravi Rampaul on his spell during Saturday’s Regional Super50 Cup final. (Photo courtesy CWI Media)

BROOKLYN, NY– Captain Kieron Pollard has underscored the critical role of veteran players in Trinidad and Tobago Red Force’s capture of the Regional Super50 Cup last weekend.

In a lopsided final at Coolidge Cricket Ground on Saturday, Red Force crushed Guyana Jaguars by 152 runs to complete a flawless campaign that saw them go unbeaten throughout.

Two 36-year-olds dominated the final – opener Lendl Simmons hitting a career-best 146 to fire Red Force to 362 for five off their 50 overs and seamer Ravi Rampaul snatching four for 52 to help send Jaguars crashing for 210.

“I think the experienced guys that we have around in the batting department [have been important],” Pollard said.

“We had Lendl Simmons scoring a big hundred [in the final], Evin Lewis at the start scoring runs, you had Denesh Ramdin one of the more experienced players. 

“Then in the bowling department, Ravi Rampaul after a five, six-year hiatus playing West Indies cricket … coming back sharing his experience and working with the guys. 

“Dwayne Bravo as well, although he was not part of our squad, was around the entire tournament. He played a helping hand in the younger bowlers as well.”

Pollard, the West Indies white-ball captain, was one of the plethoras of experienced players in the squad and played a key part with his aggressive leadership.

For the 33-year-old, the title marked his first in regional domestic 50-over as captain, and he said he had tried to inject a winning mentality into the unit.

“Anything you do, you want to do it to the best of your ability, and I’ve only been honest and straightforward to the guys,” he explained.

“I know how I want to play and how we should play and that winning mentality. You go worldwide and win titles, and there’s nothing better than winning for your country.

“It’s just for me to give the guys that confidence and coming in when needed.”

Pollard also praised the level of preparation for the tournament, noting this had been the foundation of Red Force’s campaign.

“Preparation was good. Guys were training from since October [last year even though] we had COVID,” Pollard said.

“The guys joined the team after playing different tournaments, and then we actually left the team and went off to Dubai [for the Abu Dhabi T10], and we joined back together just before the start of the tournament. 

“So, kudos to the management staff and everybody back in Trinidad for the preparation. 

“Then we come here, and it was just a matter of gelling together as a unit and coming out and playing good cricket.”

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