Vishal Singh

By Ravendra Madholall
Diminutive left-handed West Indies test batsman Vishal Singh has thrown his support behind Guyana Amazon Warriors to lift this year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) trophy.

The action is slated to bowl off on Tuesday when Guyana Amazon Warriors collide with Trinibago Knight Riders at 10 am and from 4 pm, defending champions Barbados Tridents clashing with St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

Both matches are fixed for the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, South Trinidad.

Notably, all matches are hosted in Trinidad and Tobago as CPL administrators and the Healthy Ministry of the country have worked in collaboration to put in all precautionary measures in place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The 31-year-old Singh, who has so far featured in three tests, believes that once the Warriors play to their true potential, they can be the championship side on this occasion.

“When you look at the composition of the team, it is very balanced and mixed with some experienced international players so I think they have a great chance of winning this year,” Singh related.

“Obviously, our regional players are in the professional system and they know what to do in a tournament of this magnitude. I [am] sure they are anxious to get down and do the job; the bowling lineup looks good too,” Singh commented.

Since the inauguration of the competition in 2013, Guyana Amazon Warriors have participated in the final on five occasions without success, Singh, however, expressed strong optimism they can be on the winning side this year once they play better cricket.

“Hopefully, they can make it to the final again but they have to hold their nerve because the better team will come out on top in the final but I am confident they will be victorious once they execute their plans as well,” Singh, who was part of Guyana Jaguars’ unprecedented five-year regional four-day champions, mentioned.

Again six Franchise teams from across the Caribbean will be vying for supremacy. Apart from Warriors, Riders,Tridents and Patriots, the other two teams are Jamaica Tallawahs and St. Lucia Zouks.

For Guyana Amazon Warriors, they will have Australian off-spinner Chris Green as the leader with West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago exciting batsman Nicolas Pooran as his deputy.

Guyana will count heavily on the sensational Shimron Hetmyer to take care of the batting while he can expect support from Brandon King, Sherfane Rutherford, Chanderpaul Hemraj, New Zealand’s vastly experienced middle-order batsman Ross Taylor, wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble and Kemo Paul.

The bowling will hinge around Green, South African Imran Tahir, who was very effective with his leg-spin in 2019. Other slow bowlers Kevin St. Clair and Ashmead Need along with seamers Romario Shepherd, Odeon Smith, Paul, Jasdeep Singh and Naveen-Ul-Haq will be asked to do the trick too.