Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 2nd 2016 Contents T&T football coach Stephen Hart is preparing for
what will be a critical period for the "Soca Warriors"
as they enter the 2016 calendar which goes into full
swing with the Copa America Centenario qualifier
with Haiti on January 8th.
They must also keep their focus on the 2018 World
Cup qualifying campaign which sees T&T having two
important back to back qualifiers against St
Vincent/Grenadines on March 25th and 29th and in
September at home to Guatemala and away to the United
Hart spoke following the team s final training sessions
for the year at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium on Thursday
morning, summing up 2016 as one of mixed experiences
for him and the team. "I have mixed emotions about
it because we did well at the Gold Cup, we won the
group but we had set ourselves a goal of getting in the
semi final to give ourselves a chance to be in the final
and we didn t achieve that" Hart said.
He added "But I really can t be disappointed because
there were some fantastic indi-
vidual performances and team
performances and that carried
over into the World Cup qual-
ifying. We had a good opener
against Guatemala and we
could have done a little bit bet-
ter I thought at home to the
He described the trip to Jor-
dan during which T&T lost 3-
0 to its national team prior to
the Gold Cup as a turning
point for the Kenwyne Jones
"The most crucial part was the Jordan trip. We flew
for fourteen hours and we had not even had a full day s
rest and then we had to play the game. But what it did
was it brought us closer together and it showed us that
regardless of the circumstance, we have to fight to the
end and be fully concentrated all the time. I think that
had an impact on us psychologically and we ve grown
as a team from that and become more unified."
The T&T team went on to beat Haiti 1-0 in a warm
up match before topping its Gold Cup group with victories
over Guatemala and Cuba and an enthralling 4-4 draw
with Mexico which was dubbed as the best Gold Cup
game to date in the history of the competition. T&T
then defeated Panama 2-1, its first win in Panama City
since 2005 followed by the win over Guatemala which
was also T&T s first win in Guatemala since 1989.
Hart pointed out the 4-4 draw with Mexico and the
win in Guatemala as the stand out moments for him
in 2015. "It s hard to say. The game against Mexico was
special, mainly because of the circumstance, being 2-
0 down, coming back and bringing the game to 4-4.
But really the game in Guatemala would be it with the
way we did it under the circumstances."
Hart said it would be overly important that the squad
of players and staff realizes that there will be further
challenges to overcome in what promises to be an eventful
"I have no illusions that we are going to go through
some rough patches. We have to be prepared for that
because things are always good when you are doing well.
I think the players have to be prepared mentally that
when the rough patches come, it s the time you really
have to buckle down and support each other because
there is a bit of a break before the next part of the World
"All of it speaks for itself. I will desperately do every-
thing to qualify for the Copa America. It is a one off
opportunity and you cannot put a price on that, the
opportunity to play against arguably some of the best
teams in the world. And then re-focus and get back into
the World Cup qualification because we still have to get
a lot of points. We have not achieved anything as yet,"
SYDNEY, Australia---Selection chief Clive
Lloyd believes the exodus of players like
Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Lendl Sim-
mons to the lucrative Twenty20 circuit
has definitely had a negative impact on
the development of the West Indies Test
The legendary former West Indies captain
said the absence of such players had left
the Caribbean side with a vacuum and
forced authorities in the region to undertake
a rebuilding process.
"You can t fault them (players who have
turned to T20s)," Lloyd told a media con-
ference at the Sydney Cricket Ground yes-
"The money that is being paid in these
shorter games, it s obvious that players are
looking towards their future. And unfor-
tunately we re missing out, all those guys
who we groomed have now left so we re
left with a vacuum and we now have to fill
He continued: "People might say that
we re not a top-class side but some of these
guys [in the current squad] have only played
four Test matches and we can t bring any-
body from home because they ll be just as
raw, or young."
While West Indies have been locked in
the current three-Test series against Aus-
tralia, Gayle, Simmons and Russell have all
been campaigning in the Big Bash League
here for various franchises.
Former Test and one-day captain Darren
Sammy and all-rounder Dwayne Bravo are
all also involved in the Big Bash after having
retired from the longer format of the game.
Lloyd, who oversaw one of the most suc-
cessful periods of West Indies cricket in
the late 1970s and early 80s, said some of
these players would have played key roles
in the touring Test side.
"That s the situation we have, we have
guys like Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons,
Chris Gayle, Bravo and these fellas, they ve
retired from the longer form of the game,"
"I think somebody like Russell---surely
we would have had a chat with him---but
he has a problem with his knee and he s
just playing one-day cricket. Lendl Sim-
mons too would have been a nice guy to
have in the middle there because he s an
opener, he plays spin very well, he would
have fitted in fine with our batting.
"But he s not involved, so we ve got to
look somewhere else. It s a bit of a sad sit-
uation but I m sure that our cricket will
West Indies have struggled on tour so
far, losing both Tests by significant margins.
They went down by an innings and 212
runs in the Hobart opener before crashing
to a 177-run loss in Melbourne last week.
They face Australia in the final Test here
starting tomorrow. (CMC)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, January 2, 2016
Lloyd: Players looking
towards their future
on busy 2016
HOBART, Australia---Neither Darren
Sammy nor Andre Russell overwhelmed
but Hobart Hurricanes proved stronger,
dealing Sydney Thunder their first loss
of the Australian Big Bash here New
Year s Day.
Sent in at the Bellerive Oval, Hurricanes
rattled up 163 for six and then restricted
Thunder to 152 for nine, to win by 11 runs.
Both teams now have similar 3-1 records
heading into the last two weeks of the
For Hurricanes, George Bailey top-scored
with 56 not out while Sammy chipped in
at the end with 18 off ten deliveries, includ-
ing one six.
Russell was uncharacteristically expen-
sive, sending down four overs of pace for
40 runs without taking a wicket.
When Thunder batted, Russell also failed
to shine, scoring just eight from five balls
with a six, to be part of a lower order
Captain Mike Hussey lashed 71 from 58
balls to power his side but was one of only
three players in double figures as Thunder
lost five wickets for 13 runs at the end to
lose their way.
Sammy s three overs of medium pace
went for 27 runs.
......Matthews, King help
engineer Big Bash
success for franchises
ADELAIDE, Australia---West Indies players
Hayley Matthews and Stacy-Ann King
played minor roles but still managed to
help their franchises to victory in the
inaugural Women s Big Bash on New
Year s Day.
At the Adelaide Oval, King scored 23
from 21 deliveries as Adelaide Strikers
chased down 137 to score a six-wicket win
over Perth Scorchers, featuring West Indies
batsman Deandra Dottin.
The right-handed King stroked three
boundaries and anchored two key small
partnerships which built the foundation
for the successful run chase.
Strikers lost Sarah Taylor for two to the
third ball of the innings with two runs on
the board but King added 36 for the second
wicket with Bridget Patterson (18) and a
further 25 for the third wicket with Sarah
Coyte who finished on a top score of 52
not out off 38 deliveries.
Shelly Nitschke, who struck 24, put on
61 for the fourth wicket with Coyte in a
partnership which sealed victory in the
Earlier, opener Charlotte Edwards struck
41 before retiring hurt while captain Nicole
Bolton struck 37, to guide Scorchers up to
136 for six off their 20 overs.
Dottin continued her run of low scores
when she was dismissed for just nine.
In Hobart, Matthews struck 22 off 25
balls as Hobart Hurricanes defeated Bris-
bane Heat by 30 runs at Bellerive Oval.
Batting at the top of the order, the 17-
year-old Matthews struck two fours and
a six in helping to lift Hobart Hurricanes
up to 130 for five off their 20 overs, after
they opted to bat first.
She put on 32 for the first wicket with
captain Heather Knight, who scored 25,
and 24 for the second wicket with Corinne
Hall who finished unbeaten on 39.
In reply, Heat were dismissed for 97 in
the penultimate over.
22 for Hobart
Sammy ... struck 18
off ten balls for
SPORT VISIT: Chief selector and legendary former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd, right,
chats with Australia Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife, Lucy Turnbull, during
a visit to the Prime Minister's Residence on New Year's Day. PHOTO: WICB
Sammy, Russell struggle as Thunder lose their first
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