After losing two matches in the opening round of this season’s CPL Hero T20, the Saint Lucia Kings are back on home soil and are hopeful of giving their fans something to cheer about.
Starting today (Wednesday) and continuing on September 8, 10 and 11 the Daren Sammy Cricket Grounds [DSCG] will light up with a display of the ‘Hottest Party on the Planet’- as the CPL fiesta is dubbed.
The host team will try desperately to catch up with their opponents, who have all registered points in the competition, so far. The Kings will leave no stone unturned as they take on the challenge to get points on the board at this crucial stage of the competition.
At a press briefing, on Tuesday, CPL’s chief executive officer Pete Russell exclaimed that, “We can’t wait to get (this party) started, on Wednesday …” in reference to the four match fixtures at the DSCG.
“Faf (Du Plessis) and the team, they (Saint Lucia Kings) got to the finals for the last two seasons and are excited about what lies ahead,” he added. “We are just excited to be back and hopefully the fans will come out and support …as they normally do and we get fantastic games of cricket.”
Saint Lucia Kings CEO, Satish Menon described the DSCG atmosphere “as a great ground to play at …I love this place, love the ground and we have a great team and we have great faith in that team”.
With prospects for a favouarable performance from the Saint Lucia Kings squad, he said: “Ever since Faf came in we’ve had a great season …the last two seasons were about the best …and we’d like to come here and not only just win, but we’d like to entertain. That’s more important to us, give it the best and go for the crown.”
Skipper of the Saint Lucia Kings – Faf Du Plessis says the team is eagerly looking to bounce back and to provide fans and spectators with an exciting performance.
On the relevance of the home crowd support and playing advantage, he declared: “As a player you always try and play cricket that’s attractive to the fans …and luckily we’ve got someone that the fans like to see, like Daren Sammy (head coach). So as a coach it’s nice to have him involved with the team, he’s a part of the franchise, and he’s a big part of the sport in this country. So, it’s great to have him with us and we want to do our best in playing really good cricket so the fans can come in and have a good time.”
Du Plessis added, “When you come to the CPL it’s always there …the entertainment, the music, the fun and that’s something as a player, I hope you can see a lot of in Saint Lucia.”
The Saint Lucia Kings assistant-coach Floyd Reifer, former West Indies player does not underrate the performance of the team, seeing that they fought hard while losing closely in the two previous matches, played at Basseterre, in St Kitts/Nevis.
He said it is “very important” that the team performs well in the next four matches at the DSCG, to get a fighting chance of advancing to the knock-out stages of the competition.
Reifer noted: “The next four games are critical for us …and all we can do is take it game by game. That’s very important and we don’t want to look too far ahead, just taking it one game at a time. We obviously plan properly…and it’s for the players to go out there and execute.”
Meanwhile, as a show of social corporate responsibility and in the interest of getting youngsters attracted to the game, the CPL management donated a set of match tickets to be distributed to school students across the island to attend the matches.