Team mentor says the Tallawahs will retain the title of champions
Monday 16th June 2014 - Kingston, Jamaica: Reigning Limacol CPL champions, the Jamaica Tallawahs, this year welcome Jamaica and West Indies Cricket Legend, Mr Courtney "Cuddy" Walsh as team mentor. Mr Walsh spoke exclusively to www.cplt20.com about his inaugural year in the tournament and was upbeat about what he is expecting for CPL 2014.
"I am definitely looking forward to this experience! I may not have been around last year, but I am happy to be involved this year and I am eager to make an impact," he comments.
The 6' 6" former Jamaica and West Indies fast bowler has played in three Cricket World Cups and, in 1996, aided the Windies to the Semi-Finals. He has since won the Jamaica Sportsman of the Year three times in a row, and says he will be working closely with the fast bowlers among the Tallawahs for CPL 2014. "I expect to be playing a major role with the fast bowlers and I will be assisting them with their line and length so as to ensure they are a threat to the opposition."
With the Tallawahs defending champions, the former world record holder for the highest number of wickets in a test knows it will be a challenge, saying; "We (the Tallawahs), will be under pressure from the start, as everyone wants to beat the champions, so we have to ensure our preparation is up to par and that we deliver on the day."
Courtney will be teaming up with Mickey Arthur – former South African national team coach – who is the Jamaica Tallawahs new head coach for 2014. "I am in close dialogue with Mickey Arthur and his assistant, Junior Bennett, and we are all clear in our goals for this season, so things are falling into place for us," he said.
Among the Tallawahs 15-man squad, there are 11 Jamaican-born players, something Courtney is very happy about, saying; "This will only assist in gelling the team even further – particularly as a number of the guys played with each other for the Windies U-19s, the Windies A Team and the Windies Senior Team, so I am happy about this and I am backing our local talent to deliver."
Speaking about the tournament overall, Courtney, (who took 519 wickets in test cricket) is very positive about the T20 event. He said; "The CPL is a very exciting experience and will only bring rewards to the Caribbean. I admire how, on every team, there are a handful of young players, so it brings great development to Caribbean players and long term it is beneficial, we just have to be patient to receive the fruits of our labour."
The former Windies Test and ODI Captain (who took 23, five-wicket hauls in his career), also had a message to the local Jamaican fans to, "come out to Sabina Park and support our local team, we are defending Champions for a reason and we vow to give 100% in each of our games!"
The Jamaica Tallawahs opening game is on Saturday 12th July when they take on the St. Lucia Zouks in Grenada.