Barbados Tridents captain Jason Holder said the experience of the bio-secure bubble for the Hero CPL 2020 is completely different than what the West Indies experienced for their recently-concluded tour of England.
“It was a total different dynamic in England,” Holder said, “In England we were a lot less restrictive there. It was a lot more often in terms of preparation...Here now it is a lot more restrictive, we haven’t been able to practice. We haven’t been able to move around the hotel, at least for the first seven days but it’s been totally different.”
Holder added that he got to spend a couple of days at home in Barbados on return from the #Raisethebat tour before he was back on a plane flying to this country for the August 18-September 10 CPL 2020.
“It has been for me a lot tougher because I haven’t really been out, you have been confined to the hotel for really the last two-and-a-half to three months now. It is what it is,” Holder said.
“I am trying my best to cope with the situation as best as I can as well as the other players..Just trying to keep our focus and hopefully we can get some equipment here for the guys so the guys can get out to practice and prepare for this year’s tournament.”
Holder said their first attempt at practice was curtailed because of rain.
As defending champions, Holder said he has advised his team to consign that victory to history.
“I have said to the guys last year is history. Last year was a great campaign for us as we were able to lift the trophy but at the end of the day that is history and we have a very important task at hand in defending the trophy and we do have a few new faces in our team,” Holder said, “so it is definitely not the same team and that’s both in the management team and the players so more or less we have got to come together and formulate our plans then focus on execution.”
In terms of his bench being tested in a condensed format of the CPL this year, Holder said: “Definitely more or less you gotta really look at how best you can manage players, and conditions will definitely change. I assume with the tournament played ...between two grounds the pitches could become worn so that is another factor you gotta take into consideration.”
He added the weather conditions are another factor because the tournament is being played in the hurricane season and rain could pose a challenge.
Meanwhile, captain of the St Lucia Zouks and former West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he has still “not closed the door” on his international return.
He said he planned to use the CPL as a platform to make a comeback bid for the West Indies team for the 2021 T20 World Cup in India.
The 36-year-old Sammy last played for West Indies when he led the team to victory in the 2016 T20 World Cup in India, beating England in the final at Eden Gardens.
Sammy said the long Covid-19 hiatus had given him enough time to reflect and has reignited his desire to make a comeback.
“I have had a lot of soul-searching and reflection in the past few months. Anybody who’s been at home in the lockdown all these months would not have done justice to themselves if they didn’t glean over things,” Sammy said. “I have not retired. I have not closed that door and if I take care of what I have to do for St Lucia and get us to the playoffs along with my own very good performances, that will certainly make selectors take notice of it,” the two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain said.
Talking about the CPL, he said, “I’m actually just going into this tournament to do better for myself and St Lucia. That is the focus this year and if I do well at that it will raise a few eyebrows as well for other things.”