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Title: Extra half-an-hour for final of Empire-Carlton Sagicor General Twenty20 replay on Friday night

Author: Keith Holder

Date Submitted: 2009-08-20

Keywords: Marlon Graham, Robin Parris, Ryan Hinds, Dale Richards

Sagicor Twenty20 - August 20 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Every effort is being made to ensure the replay of the 2009 BCA Sagicor General Twenty20 championship final between ICBL Empire and TeleBarbados Carlton under lights at Kensington Oval on Friday, August 21, runs smoothly.

Following a meeting with the captains, coaches, managers, match officials and organisers at Kensington last Monday, it was agreed that an extra half-an-hour will be added in the event of an interruption for rain.

Rain forced an abandonment of play at the same venue on Wednesday, August 12 with Carlton on 61 for two off 11.3 overs after winning the toss.

Play had started promptly at 7 o’ clock before rain forced a stoppage at 7.42 p.m. Play was eventually called off at 9:54 p.m.

The normal playing hours are from 7 p.m. to 9.55 p.m. with half-an-hour allocated for adverse weather conditions. It now means that match officials can go to as late as 10.55 p.m. before the final cut-off.

The teams have also been urged to desist from time-wasting.

There was big talk from both Empire and Carlton camps as they geared up for the match last week.

Carlton captain Marlon Graham reckoned his team’s chances of taking the title to Black Rock were “very good” while at the same time describing Empire as “always tough, though losing that aura of invincibility”.

Robin Parris, the Empire coach and player, said the Bank Hall side would focus on what they do best – play as a team.

Whatever pretty language is used, the true story will be unfolded on the field in the much-anticipated showdown, which was first postponed from Friday, July 24, because of a clash with the semi-finals of the popular national Pic-o-de-Crop competition.

Both teams played in the same zone this year again with Empire winning by 56 runs in a Zone ‘B’ second round match on June 28 at Black Rock, but Graham also recalled that Carlton defeated Empire by seven wickets in a third round match at Black Rock last year when the inaugural tournament was contested on a much bigger scale.

“Empire is always a tough opponent as you can imagine but we have actually beaten them in this format before. To my mind they have lost that aura of invincibility and we think we are in with a very good chance,” said Graham, an experienced off-spinning all-rounder.

It has been a wonderful season so far for Carlton in the three major competitions. Apart from being in the Twenty20 final, they currently lead the standings in the First division championship after the sixth round and hold joint top position with Empire, LIME and Caribbean Lumber YMPC on 12 points in Zone ‘B’ of the Sagicor General Super Cup following the fourth round.

Graham has attributed their impressive all-round showing to the presence of new coach, Desmond Haynes, the outstanding former Barbados and West Indies opening batsman.

“I think Mr. Haynes has brought new life into the club with his ideas and the guys have bought into his ideas and they are paying dividends,” Graham asserted.

Parris, who is also coaching Empire for the first time this season after a stint with Police last year, said staying focussed was vital.

“We are here to do a job and we have to concentrate on doing the job to the best of our ability. I am sure that Carlton would have prepared themselves mentally and physically and sorted out their strengths and weaknesses.

“Our strength is our team work, playing together as a team. The guys are hungry for success and we are looking forward to the final,” said all-rounder Parris, who bowls left-arm spin and is a powerful right-hand batsman.

Empire boast of a very strong batting line-up including all-rounders Ryan Hinds of West Indies status and national player Kevin Stoute, who will be having his first match of the championship after returning home recently from a professional contract in England.

Dale Richards, the experienced opener and new West Indies player, who is in the West Indies 15-man squad named on Monday for the Champions Trophy in South Africa from September 22 to October 5, is expected to turn out for Carlton team after apparently recovering from a recurring right shoulder injury.

Both Graham and Parris conceded that it is difficult to plan for the shortest version of the game.

“What is certain is that Marlon will bowl the first ball (of the innings) but after that there are no plans. We have tried all season and reckon that the best time we had, there were no formal plans. Just keep it simple,” Graham said.

Parris remarked: “There will be some sort of plans but to what extent? You really can’t go too far because of the nature of the game. You must have a free mind.”

There is expected to be a big backing for both teams from their supporters.

“Carlton will have massive support. The ladies will come out and wear red and from the e-mails I have been getting, the netball, volleyball, football and the Pro Shotters teams will all be coming out to support the team,” Graham said.

And what about Empire, whose colours are blue?

“We have a big hockey contingent behind us. All in all, I hope supporters of cricket will have a good night,” Parris said.

Off-spinner Alex Bridgeman of Carlton will show off the Orange shirt as the bowler with the most wickets (11) in the tournament.

Carlton were first to advance to the final on Friday, July 17, with a thrilling one-run win over Sagicor General UWI, while Empire defeated BNB St. Catherine by 34 runs on Sunday, July 19.

Both semi-finals were also played at Kensington Oval under lights.

CGI Maple were the 2008 champions, beating Cable & Wireless (now LIME) by four runs in the final at the Police Sports Complex, Weymouth on December 7.

The 2009 champions will again pocket $15 000 and the runners-up, $8 000.

Losing semi-finalists (UWI and St. Catherine) will earn $5 000 and the losing quarter-finalists (Police, Maple, LIME and Inspire Sports Wanderers) $3 000.

Individual awards are also at stake for the full championship: batsman scoring the fastest century (number of balls); batsman with the most runs; bowler with the most wickets; bowler with the best Economy Rate (must bowl a minimum of eight overs); fielder with the most catches; wicket-keeper with the most dismissals; and Most Outstanding All-rounder.

Spectators will be accommodated in the Greenidge & Haynes Stand and the general admission fee is $15.00. However, on presentation of their ticket stubs from the rain-ruined match, patrons will be given a discount of $5.00.

BCA members in good standing and school children will be admitted free of charge.

There will be a party after the match.

Gates open from 5.30 p.m.

Teams (from):

Empire – Jason Haynes (captain), Jason Parris, Jason Hinds, Ryan Hinds, Kevin Stoute, Shawn Graham, Alcindo Holder, Robin Parris, Javon Searles, Jamal Smith, Andre Evelyn, Theo Chandler, Lemar Mascoll, Ricardo Went, Antonio Greenidge, Dion Pinder.

Carlton – Marlon Graham (captain), Kirk Gibson, Vonrick Nurse, Dale Richards, Shirley Clarke, Carlo Morris, Shawn Boyce, Dario Vaughan, Amal Nurse, Dawayne Sealy, Alex Bridgeman, Jamel Noel, Richard Greaves, Adrian Caddle, Dane Currency.

Umpires: Tunley Franklyn, Patrick Grazette. Stand-by: Vincent Bullen.

Match referee: Clifford Clarke.

Duckworth/Lewis Manager: Mervyn Jones.

Man-of-the-Match adjudicator: Jason Bennett.

Start: 7 p.m.

NB: There will be live ball-by-ball coverage on CBC Radio 94.7 FM and 900 AM.

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