Simon Helmot says the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel do not feel any extra pressure, despite the 2015 Caribbean Premier League final being held at the Queen's Park Oval on 26 July.
It will be the first time the island has hosted the tournament’s grand finale with the Red Steel still searching for their first ever CPL crown, having reached the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
“There is no extra on pressure on us. There is great expectation from the fans and inside the camp of us to do well. If anything it is an added incentive that the finals are at the Queen’s Park Oval,” said Helmot.
Barbados Tridents set the benchmark last year but we are out to knock them off and win the title
As well as using the incentive of a home final, Helmot is hopeful that the franchise will learn from their performance in the 2014 competition - in which the Red Steel won six of their nine group games before losing to the Jamaica Tallawahs in the first playoff eliminator.
“Last year after seven rounds were in a good position,” said the Australian coach. “But we finished poorly and the competition slipped away from us.
“This year we have to peak at the right time. We need to start well but continue the momentum throughout the competition, as last year showed we cannot afford to flirt with our form.”
Helmot will call on the experience of captain Dwayne Bravo and Jacques Kallis, who will appear in the tournament for the first time after being picked in the second round of February’s Player Draft.
With the addition of Kallis along with hard-hitting opening batsmen Cameron Delport, the Red Steel are sure to enter the tournament as one of the favourites but Helmot believes the competition is as wide open as it’s ever been.
“It’s a very even competition and every match will be close. The advantage that Jacques and Dwayne bring is they not what it means to be successful.
“Dwayne is one of the most prolific all-rounders in World T20 cricket and is the spiritual leader of the franchise, both on and off the field. Jacques is a fairly calm character and his experience is sure to rub off on the younger players.
“I think when you add those to the rest of the squad we are in a good place. We have a lot of multi-skilled players which means we can be versatile in different conditions and allow us to match up against all types of opponent.”