Melbourne Cricket Club aiming for redemption in Jamaica T20 Bashment

By September 21, 2022

Club cricket in Jamaica had been dormant for two years due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.

From May 7-June 9 this year, the Jamaica Cricket Association staged the All-Island Limited Overs competition, ending a long wait for the return of club cricket in the country.

That two-year hiatus affected many of the prominent cricket clubs around the island, including The Melbourne Cricket Club.

Since its inception in 1892, the club has been synonymous with winning and has produced many cricketers who have gone on to represent the region at the highest level including Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding, Marlon Samuels, Robert Samuels, Carlton Baugh Jr, Donovan Pagon and Nikita Miller to name a few.

“For starters, Melbourne is a cricket club and we attract patrons mostly through cricket; be it players, spectators and/or fans. Closing our doors for two years resulted in a loss of the vibrancy of the club as well as the recruitment of young players,” said James Stewart, team manager at Melbourne.

“Currently, the players who represent the club are those who have been around for some time,” he added.

The Derrymore Road-based club also won the last edition of the Limited Overs tournament in 2019 but failed to pass the preliminary round this year.

“Our team failing to progress to the next round was down to several factors. Firstly, we did not execute our plans in the first three games. As a result, we had to play ‘catch up.’ Secondly, several players in our ranks had overseas assignments and that left the team weakened,” Stewart said.

The Jamaica Defence Force came away winners of that title after a tense two-wicket victory over St. Mary at Sabina Park.

Melbourne will be aiming to rebound from that disappointment with success in the ongoing JCA T20 Bashment which began on September 4 and will end on October 9.

The team has so far gone unbeaten in their first five matches of the preliminary round, recording three wins and two no results and with their final two group games coming this weekend, the club stands a good chance of advancing to the quarterfinals.

“Based on our team structure, we have a good chance of winning this ongoing T20 Bashment. Currently, we have not lost a game and we have only dropped points because of the weather. Most of pour players are in good batting form and the bowling is improving weekly,” said Stewart who is also coaching the team in the tournament due to the absence of regular head coach Nikita Miller who is on assignment with the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League.

“Additionally, we have had some bolstering to our ranks in terms of our bowling. These additions will go a far way in terms of how effectively and efficiently we execute our plans throughout this tournament,” he added.

 

 

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