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Big things expected from Jamaica's young bats in Super50
Published on January 30, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – Captain David Bernard is expecting Jamaica to bring their ‘A’ game when they face the defending champions Windward Islands in the opening match of the NAGICO Super50 Tournament on Thursday.

The tall 32-year-old allrounder took over the leadership after Chris Gayle was forced to withdraw from the side with an injury. Bernard said he welcomed this opportunity to lead his national team and spoke of the team’s eagerness to do Jamaica proud.

“I expect the entire team to do well. We are here to represent Jamaica and we have a responsibility to do well for our country and our people,” Bernard said ahead of Wednesday’s training session. “This is the tournament when these young players should step up and make a name for themselves.”

With Gayle and Marlon Samuels not in the side, the skipper now is the time for “big things” from the bats of the young brigade.

“We have Horace Miller, Andre McCarthy, John Campbell, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood… and the other young players to come through. They have shown tremendous potential and I’m really looking forward with excitement to see them perform,” Bernard said.

Bonner, who turned 25 last week, made the only century for Jamaica last year – a polished 110. He is expected to be the key batsman at the top of the order. Blackwood and the left-handed Campbell are graduates of the Sagicor High Performance Centre, while Miller and McCarthy are former West Indies Under-19 players.

Bernard also said it was pleasing to have experienced fast bowling allrounder Jerome Taylor back in the squad.

“It is good to see him back after some years. We all know his potential and what impact he can have and we look forward to seeing him bowl well and get back to the top of his game. They are exciting talents and this is the chance to cement themselves in West Indies cricket.”

Taylor is expected to share the new ball with left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell, who made his Test debut late last year. The attack is well balanced with Andre Russell, the livewire allrounder; Bernard himself with his clever changes of pace; and the misery left-arm spin of Nikita Miller, providing support.

The captain said though he had been entrusted with the leadership role, he knew there was experience in the side to call upon.

“This is an honour for me to captain Jamaica and I am delighted to be given this opportunity,” said Bernard. “In this team we have long-standing captain Tamar Lambert, Nikita Miller is my vice captain and we also have Carlton Baugh behind the stumps so we have a good relationship and we will come together to make the best decisions.”
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