United, we’ll win
... Samuels lists team unity as priority as he looks to return Jamaica Scorpions to winning ways
RECENTLY APPOINTED Jamaica Scorpions coach Robert Samuels has listed building team unity and chemistry, as well as emerging from the bottom of the standings as his primary focus heading into the new regional first-class season, which gets under way next month.
Once a leading powerhouse in regional first-class cricket, Jamaica has, for the past two seasons, languished towards the bottom end of the standings.
They finished fourth in the 2014 to 2015 season, and last year, in one of their worstever placings, ended fifth in the six-team championship.
This has ushered in a change at the management level of the team, with the previously Wavell Hinds-led national selection panel and longstanding head coach Junior Bennett being replaced.
Bennett, instead, is now the new chairman of selectors, with returning selector Ephraim McLeod, Samuels, and a yet-to-be-named captain completing the panel.
“The squad has experienced several changes in players and leadership over the years, so one of the things that I want to do is get a team out there playing together as one unit,” stated Samuels.
“The next goal after that is to then move from our current fifth position and take our time and regain the number-one spot.
“We had the position up until recently, but as in everything else, life is a cycle, so we will have to work hard to get to the top,” added the for West Indies opener.
Jamaica last won the regional four-day first-class title four seasons ago.
This was after copping five straight titles under the leadership of Tamar Lambert; however, after three seasons of no titles, Lambert was replaced as captain by young batsman Paul Palmer Jr last season.
Jamaica are set to open their 2016-2017 season away to defending champions Guyana.