CPL

King expects team to play with passion, as Jamaica Tallawahs begin CPL title defence against St Lucia Kings

By Sports Desk August 15, 2023
Jamaica Tallawahs celebrate after topping Barbados Royals in last year's final. Jamaica Tallawahs celebrate after topping Barbados Royals in last year's final.

Jamaica Tallawahs captain Brandon King said it will be important for his side to play with passion and execute efficiently, both individually and collectively, if the reigning champions are to retain their Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.

His remarks come, as Jamaica Tallawahs are set to begin their title defence against St Lucia Kings in the tournament opener in Gros Islet, St Lucia on Wednesday at 6:00pm Jamaica time.

King, who was instrumental in leading the Jamaican franchise to their third tile –first since 2016 –by defeating Barbados Royals in last year’s final at Guyana’s National Stadium, is confident that they can once again stamp their class on the tournament, starting with tomorrow’s assignment.  

“The Jamaica Tallawahs are excited for the 2023 season to begin,” the inform batsman, who scored a career-best unbeaten half-century last Sunday to help West Indies clinch a series win over India in Florida, declared.

“I firmly believe that our success in the upcoming tournament lies not just in our individual skills, but in our ability to unite as a team, play with passion, and embrace every challenge that comes our way. I’m excited for the new season and can’t wait to get on the field to defend our title,” King added.

Though they will be without last year’s winning captain Rovman Powell, who head to Barbados Royals, King’s Tallawahs outfit will feature most of the talent from the triumphant season, including out-of-favour West Indies all-rounder Fabian Allen, Test vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood and the classy Shamarh Brooks, along with overseas players Imad Wasim, Chris Green, Mohammed Amir and the hard-hitting Alex Hales.

Meanwhile, St Lucia Kings, who are hunting their maiden CPL title, having twice made the final in 2020 and 2021 where they came up short against Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots respectively.

With that in mind, Head coach Darren Sammy believes it is only fitting that they begin their charge and, by extension, come out strong on home soil.

Sammy’s side will be led by the West Indies trio of Alzarri Joseph, Roston Chase and Johnson Charles, while South African star Faf du Plessis, again headlines the overseas players.

“The Saint Lucia Kings are delighted to be getting their 2023 campaign under way at our home ground,” said Sammy, who is also West Indies white-ball Head coach.

“We are sure that the Lucian public will come out in big numbers to support us as we push to make the playoffs and then go on and claim our first CPL title.  We have a very strong team full of exciting young talent and experienced local and overseas players and we are well placed heading into the tournament,” he noted.

Following the completion of games in St Lucia, the tournament will then visit St Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, with the latter again set to host the September 24 final in Providence.

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