News Daily reporter
TT RED Force cricketers will be in an even better position to shine in the upcoming four-day regional championship of West Indies cricket in January.
In Monday’s first day of training for the 2023 season, coach David Flonge was optimistic that the setbacks his team has suffered this year can be overcome.
The Reds were in contention after three rounds of the 2022 season, but the challenge fell through after a break in the English-speaking Caribbean circuit.
Analysis of the crash showed cracks in the team’s preparations when play resumed, Furlonge said, which he said was caused by rain, which limited time for outdoor practice.
Furlonge, who recently signed a two-year extension on his TT Cricket Board (TTCB) contract, told his team during Furlonge’s first team talk at the Sir Frank Worrell Development Center in Couva, Balmain, that they will Get more desired months in the future.
“The focus will be on fitness and a lot of work on fielding and cricket,” Furlonge told a TTCB media conference.
“Cricketers will be required to train for longer periods of time under strength coach Clinton Jeremiah.”
He said the relatively young squad, missing several of their key players on regional duty in the West Indies, would face a grueling training regimen, batting 90 runs a day and bowling longer.
“We’ll be looking to dramatically improve our focus over longer periods of time and develop greater discipline in all aspects of the game including batting, bowling and fielding,” Furlonge said.
The former Queens Park cricket club coach said that while star players will be out for most of the regional season, it will be a fantastic opportunity for up-and-comers to make a strong claim to the final squad.
“As well as the 15 signings who are the core of the squad, there are about seven 19- and 20-year-olds who are part of the national team and who want to force their way into contention.”
For cricketers to be at their best, Furlonge said left-handed batsmen Darren Bravo and Isaiah Rajah set the standard as they dedicate a lot of their personal time to this aspect of the game.
TT’s most successful bowler in regional cricket, spinner Imran Khan, captained the Reds in this year’s four-day tournament as the team performed in their first three rounds before the break. Out of hope.
Khan is also taking his fitness seriously, saying after Monday’s practice that he expects better from the team as they have been working hard.
“It has a lot to do with our mental strength because the leaders of the team help the young players. It’s all about team effort and we know that bowling plays a big role in mutual support,” Khan said.
He said it is unfortunate that some of the big names will miss the start of the regional season because their contribution is always important.
“In the bowling department, we’ll be looking for Uthman Muhammed, Shannon Gabriel and Terrance Hinds who are at their best, as well as a couple of young players who bring their best game to the fore,” Khan said.