Cool and Smooth T20 Explosion Set For April

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Director of Cool and Smooth Amer Hourani (right) celebrates with 2022 champions Liberta Blackhawks following last year’s final at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (File photo)
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Following an exciting climax at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) in May last year, the Cool and Smooth T20 Explosion is set for a return in April, marking its 10th edition. 

Dubbed the region’s premier local white-ball competition, the tournament is set to bowl off on April 12 and close on April 29 with a grand finale at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound. A total of eight teams will compete for the EC$23,000.00 grand prize and the coveted Cool and Smooth T20 championship trophy won by the Liberta Blackhawks in 2022. Blackhawks, who have won the tournament five times, are set to defend their crown.

The other competing teams in this year’s tournament are Bethesda Golden Eagles, New Winthorpes Lions, Empire Nation, Bolans Blasters, Pigotts Crushers, Jennings Tigers and All Saints Pythons.

According to organisers, the tournament will continue to feature a number of regional and international talent, as the competition continues to provide realistic opportunities for players to experience West Indian conditions and possibly force their way into tournaments like the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Last year’s instalment of the tournament saw the participation of young regional talent, such as Nyeem Young, Matthew Forde, and Leonardo Julien, who were drafted into the local clubs on show.

Director of Cool and Smooth, Amer Hourani, highlighted the excitement around the tournament, and the plan for 2023.

“Last year’s tournament was a huge success, but we plan to make it bigger and better in our tenth year. This competition has been a great way of developing not only Antiguan, but West Indian talent, and preparing them for the regional and international levels of cricket. All I can say is, you do not want to miss the Cool and Smooth T20 this year.”

In last year’s final, Blackhawks beat Bethesda Golden Eagles by 89 runs at the CCG.

Blackhawks batted first and made 165 for 5 in their 20 overs with West Indies and Leeward Islands player Rahkeem Cornwall hitting 50 runs off 30 balls, and Karima Gore making 46 also from 30 deliveries.

Eagles were then pegged back early in their reply and were at one time, naught for three, managing only 61 for nine off 13.5 overs before rain ended the contest. Gore did the damage for Blackhawks, claiming three wickets for just nine runs in four overs. West Indies spinner Hayden Walsh Jr claimed two for 15.

Rising Sun Spartans finished third after defeating Jennings Tigers in the third-place match.

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