CW Red Stripe Bowl Preview
Wednesday, October 1 2003
It was certainly an interesting period of play for the West Indies cricket team in the 2002/03 season. With series wins against India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, an unfortunate World Cup exit and a heartful comeback against Australia, the West Indies gave more than a hint of promise and improvement. Now, as we look to the challenging 03/04 season, there is the belated second half of the West Indies domestic season - the Red Stripe Bowl.
Ten (10) teams will compete in two zones of play. Teams range from minnows, Canada to the powerhouses of Jamaica and Barbados. Last year Barbados won it all while dominating with the bat. This season however, there looks to be some stiff competition on the way. As such, without further adieu, here is Cricket Web's Preview Guide to Red Stripe Bowl '03!
Just a quick glance at the Jamaican squad and you can see why they are the favourites to be there at the end. With names such as Wavell Hinds, Chris Gayle, Ricardo Powell and Marlon Samuels, they pose a Test-class batting lineup. Add that to the talented bowling of Jerome Taylor and Daren Powell, and the all-round ability of Gareth Breese and Dave Bernard jr. and the possibilities seem endless.
Veteran batsman and former West Indies player, Robert Samuels seems to possess the right blend of experience and tactical know-how to effectively marshal such talents. He is still regarded as one of the best captains in the Caribbean and many feel he was hard done by the WI selectors.
All said, I would not be too surprised if any of Guyana, Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago were to upset Jamaica's charge but Jamaica seem to have the goods to get the job done in style.
Top Run-scorer:- Philo Wallace
In recent build-up matches, Wallace has boasted superb batting form. For years he has been a solid contender at regional level and has gained world-wide notoriety for his big-hitting ways. These factors added to the responsibility of leading a largely inexperienced UWI team, and you'd think Philo Wallace is primed for a massive 2003 tournament. He's a very good shot to improve on the 248 run total which he reached in the 2002 Bowl.
Best New Player:- Fidel Edwards
Since his spectacular haul of 5/36 on Test debut in June of this year, Edwards has hardly been an unknown in the cricketing world. Previously, he had played just one FC match with very moderate success. Now that he has established himself as all but a sure pick for the Windies African tour, Edwards can go out into the Red Stripe Bowl with no significant pressure and a relaxed frame of mind. Edwards is yet to play a domestic OD game. Indeed, with his unorthodox action and the fact that he is still largely unseen and unplayed by regional cricketers, he goes into the tournament with a noticeable advantage over his opponents.
Most Improved Team:- UWI (University of the West Indies)
Following up on a dismal 2002 Red Stripe Bowl that saw them heavily defeated on a few occasions, the UWI team can only get better. Now they have Wallace at the helm. His presence alone would expectedly bring an improved performance. Add in the presence of experienced regional players - Ryan Cunningham and Keith Hibbert, and the UWI team may well surprise one or two teams.
Top Wicket-taker:- Corey Collymore
Against Sri Lanka this year Collymore made an emphatic return to the West Indies Test team. With that he proved that, although his limited overs skills are sharp, he is not a one-dimensional player. Collymore followed up his dream return with a short stint in English County Cricket with Warwickshire. His efforts were heartful but, for the most part, fruitless. However, the experience in English conditions combined with Collymore's natural accuracy and ability to swing the ball both ways seem to suggest that he is set for a great Red Stripe Bowl.
Antigua and Barbuda Wilden Cornwall/Kerry Jeremy
Barbados Floyd Reifer/Corey Collymore
Canada Umar Bhatti
Jamaica Chris Gayle/Brenton Parchment
Guyana Ramnaresh Sarwan
Leewards XI Runako Morton/Omari Banks
Trinidad and Tobago
UWI Philo Wallace
Windward Islands Devon Smith/Kenroy Peters
WI Under-19 Denesh Ramdin/Ravi Rampaul
The Form XII
These are the players whose form (as well as other factors) seem to indicate that they will have a productive tournament.
1/ Philo Wallace - He demolished Bermuda in recent exhibition matches.
2/ Brenton Parchment - Parchment has impressed more than a few in scoring at will during the Jamaican trials.
3/ Brian Lara - Against Australia and Sri Lanka earlier this year, Lara exhibited an impressive maturity in his batting to once again elevate himself to #1 in the world.
4/ Floyd Reifer - Last year, Reifer scored 355 runs in the RSB and has batted consistently for Barbados over the past couple of years.
5/ Ramnaresh Sarwan - Since last year's Red Stripe Bowl, Sarwan has achieved such amazing ODI success as to earn him a reputation as a premiere batsman in the shortened form of the game.
6/ Dwayne Bravo - Bravo has matured at regional level since his induction. He has managed to develop into a very useful bowling option which will no doubt be exposed in this year's tourney.
7/ Denesh Ramdin - Ramdin enjoyed a fine season at T&T club level and earned the MVP in the 2003 Under-19 regional tournament.
8/ Ryan Hurley - Hurley is a firecracker of a player. He took 6/36 recently in a club game and seems to be just itching to perform.
9/ Ravi Rampaul - In the Under-19 regional tournament, Rampaul emerged the best bowler for the second consecutive year to add to his long youth level credentials.
10/ Corey Collymore - Collymore has had a superb year in West Indies colours and remains one of the most potent bowlers in the region.
11/ Fidel Edwards - Edwards' jerky action and lack of exposure will act as a shock element against opponents.
12th Man/ Chris Gayle - Like Sarwan, Gayle has had a fantastic run in ODI cricket since the last RSB. His explosive batting and useful off-spin bowling will definitely be crucial to the Jamaican cause.
Cricket Web hope to bring match reports and analysis of the 2003 Red Stripe Bowl, so stay tuned.
Discuss the 2003 Red Stripe Bowl on the Cricket Web forum!
Posted by Liam