The auction and draft table is where half the battle is won as far as global Franchise T20 cricket goes. Selecting the right combination is as important as skill and execution on the field. Looks like St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots have got it all correct, in picking a good mix of youth and experience, the team has given itself the best possible chance to challenge the rest.
Chief coach Simon Helmot, got down discussing his views on team selection and what he is looking forward to with his exciting team in this free wheeling chat.
SKNP: Are you happy with the team in hand, what is your take on this unit?
SH: To be honest the CPL is one of the toughest T20 Leagues and you have to have an all-round team to counter the challenges. I am happy with the way we went about putting this team together. The biggest demands of T20 cricket are, balance and flexibility. The team is well balanced in both departments and yes there are enough options if we have to resort to an alternate plan. Must admit that I am pleased with the squad we have.
SKNP: Coming to competitive cricket after a big break is not easy. These are tough times for players, how do you see them get back to the top of their game?
SH: From a skill point, I am sure players are slowly coming back, at this level that is going to be easiest box to tick. As far as fitness goes they have been following a regime and have been extremely professional. It will take some time no doubt but we have two weeks to regroup and address whatever is necessary. Personally I feel being together for sometime and starting to work as a team and bond a s a unit is vital. I am sure we will be able to do that.
SKNP: The league is going to be played in Trinidad. How well is the team suited to play in these two venues?
SH: The focus will shift a little to pace bowling here. We have a good set of fast bowlers. In fact we have a good variety in the pace department alone. In Sheldon Cottrell and Sohail Tanvir we have two genuine left-arm seamers. Alzarri Jospeh is among the best when it comes to speed and add the versatile Rayad Emrit, it will be an exciting bunch that will operate together in Trinidad.
SKNP: How do you see the rest of the attack shaping up?
SH: In Fabian Allen we have one of the best young all-rounders going around. Ish Sodhi brings in a lot of experience. Both Jon Russ Jaggesar and Dennis Bulli (chinaman) bring in the mystery element. So I have to say we have a fair number of bowlers who can do well.
SKNP: Your Thoughts as far as batting goes
SH: Think we have enough power in this department. Chris Lynn has had success wherever he has played. In Evin Lewis we have the much-required experience.
The Caribbean flavor is also extremely strong and Local lad Colin Archibald, I am sure will add to it.
SKNP: Any coach would want his team to do well. How do you see this campaign going for Patriots?
SH: The start is going to be crucial. A few quick wins at the beginning will go a long way. This is going to be a tight tournament from a schedule perspective and it would be better to stay ahead on the table. The primary objective is to aim at the semi-finals and take it one game at a time from there.
SKNP: Finally a word or two for the fans?
SH: I am confident their exemplary support will continue. We will do our best to meet their expectations as they have always been with us irrespective of the results. The players and staff would also love to communicate with our fans over the various platforms and be in touch with them.