PIC Liberta, unbeaten in all competitions this year, will be the team to beat when the inaugural Cool & Smooth sponsored cricket association Twenty20 tournament bowls off on June 12 at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds.
This is according to former Leeward Islands player and Liberta captain, Kerry Mentore, who is confident that even without some of their top players, Liberta will be the target for most teams in the lucrative tournament.
“We’re the team to beat and everybody’s been asking questions about the Twenty20 because they want to beat Liberta. We are short of some players in terms of Wilden ‘Polo’ Cornwall and (Rahkeem) ‘Jimbo’ Cornwall, so the team is not as strong as before. But the guys are working hard and everybody needs to step up and the guys are willing to step up to the plate. Practice is very intense and we have capable players to pull off the tournament,” Mentore said.
The right-handed batsman acknowledged that Twenty20 is a much faster paced version of the game but said Liberta has the talent to take on any team in the competition.
“There is no room for lapsing. Twenty20 is a quick game and there is really no time to recuperate because it is very limited time, so we have to be on our A game at all times. Who plays the better cricket will win. We have experienced guys in the team who have all represented the national team so we know exactly what is going to be happening; so we are prepared for that mentally and physically.”
The wicket-keeper said that all the team’s energies are now focussed on preparing for the anticipated tournament.
“The longer version which is the three days, according to the point standings, we already have a victory in the bag championship-wise so we need just to not lose this weekend; but from last week and this week we are concentrating more on T20 practice and some of the guys play Thursday League which is the 35 and 40 overs format so we are well aware of what we are doing. We are practicing for Twenty20 now and we are not focussing too much on the weekend games per se.”
A total of EC $50,000 will be up for grabs in the inaugural tournament.
The champions will receive $20,000, second place $10,000 and third place $5,000. There will be a total of 27 games in which man-of-the-match prizes of $500 per game will be up for grabs. The MVP of the entire tournament will receive $1,500.