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Knight Riders suited up
Guardian Sports editor
Trinbago Knight Riders captain Dwayne Bravo yesterday welcomed his brother Darren to the local team, noting that the elegant left hander was sure to be a positive addition, as the home team starts its defence of the title it won last year.
The Knight Riders will open its campaign tomorrow night against the St Lucia Zouks at the Queen’s Park Oval with the younger Bravo coming into the team at the last minute.
He is expected to play in all four matches at the Queen’s Park Oval, starting tomorrow, before taking up his position as the mainstay of the West Indies batting against India.
Older brother Dwayne was among a group of players and officials at the Queen’s Park Oval yesterday to launch an elegant looking Trinbago Knightrider replica shirt which is expected be available to the public at The Fan Club by tomorrow.
The launch was attended by franchise owner Venky Mysore, team mentor Jacques Kallis, coach Simon Helmot, and players Hashim Amla, Brendon McCullum and Kevon Cooper, as well as Minister of Sport Darryl Smith.
Bravo also welcomed the return of mystery spinner Sunil Narine, whom he said is certain to make his job a lot easier.
The Trinbago Knight Riders captain said the members of his team felt no pressure in the bid to retain the title. “We are under no pressure. We have a well balanced team and how we pick our team and the balance will always make a difference. We have always been in the playoffs and semifinals and it is good to know we will be starting at home this year, so we will have the support of the 12th, 13th and 14th man to start with.”
Bravo is expecting a keen competition, noting that all six teams were competitive and had some of the best players in the world among their ranks.
Asked if expectations are likely to impose a weight on the shoulders of his players, Bravo said he had an experienced group who have been playing around the world. “We know what it’s like to win titles. This is about going out there and executing our skills and putting up a great show for our fans, and we are looking forward to doing that.”
In his address, Minister Smith praised the owners for investing in T&T and noted that the CPL was a wonderful opportunity to develop sports tourism in the region, pointing out that gas and oil were less important to T&T than the resources of the nation’s athletes.
He said government would support in the best way possible. “It is important to note that in the midst of all that is happening around the world in sport at the moment, the CPL is still able to carve out its brand. This is a real tribute to its organisers.”
Both Amla and McCullum said they were looking forward to the atmopshere and providing great excitement to the fans. “DJ Bravo has been campaigning to have a good environment, and we are looking forward to the experience.”
TRINBAGO KNIGHT RIDERS: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Brendon McCullum, Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine, Hashim Amla, Umar Akmal, Kevon Cooper, Sulieman Benn, Colin Munro, Anton Devcich, Ronsford Beaton, Nikita Miller, Javon Searles, William Perkins, Yannick Cariah, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Hamza Tariq, Anderson Phillip.
(All times local)
Tomorrow – St Lucia Zouks (9pm)
Friday – Barbados Tridents (9pm)
Saturday – Guyana Amazon Warriors (9pm)
Monday - Jamaica Tallawahs (7pm).
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