Ranchi: Taking part in the tournament without three of their star players, Caribbean champions and 2009 edition finalists Trinidad and Tobago will open their Champions League Twenty20 campaign against another depleted Australian side Brisbane Heat here Sunday.
Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean T20 winners, have come here without the big-hitting trio of Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Kevon Cooper as they are playing for IPL teams Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals respectively in the USD 6 million dollar tournament.
T&T still have the likes of off-spinner Sunil Narine, pacer Ravi Rampaul, batsman Darren Bravo, besides captain Denesh Ramdin and will start as favourites in the Group B match at the JSCA Stadium tomorrow. T&T still have six players who were part of 2012 T20 World Cup-winning West Indies team.
Narine will be the trump card for T&T as he played a major role in Kolkata Knight Riders' maiden title win in IPL season 5 in 2012, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker with 24 scalps and winning the man of the tournament award. The pace department will be led by Rampaul who is back from an ankle injury while the batting is bolstered by the in-form Lendl Simmons, left-handed Bravo and Adrian Barath.
"We have experience of Rampaul, Narine and (Darren) Bravo and we can give a good account of ourselves. Hopefully, we can have a good tournament," Ramdin said. "The guys had two good practice matches -- one against Guyana and another against Dominica, which we did pretty well," T&T coach David Williams said.
T&T will also be inspired by the presence of West Indian legend Brian Lara during the CLT20. Lara had expressed his desire to be associated with the team in the capacity as unofficial mentor and help the players out.
Big Bash League winners Brisbane Heat are even more depleted and hit by the absence of six of their star players. They are missing New Zealander Daniel Vettori, the Australian quartet of Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Luke Pomersbach -- their leading scorer in BBL -- and Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera. .
The Teams (From):
Trinidad & Tobago: Denesh Ramdin (capt & wk), Adrian Barath, Sunil Narine, Lendl Simmons, Rayad Emrit, Sherwin Ganga, Jason Mohammad, Yannick Ottley, Ravi Rampaul, Navin Stewart, Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Shannon Gabriel, Evin Levis, Nicolas Pooran.
Brisbane Heat: James Hopes (capt), Daniel Christian, Peter Forrest, Cameron Gannon, Nathan Hauritz, Chris Lynn, Dom Michael, Chris Sabburg, Joe Burns, Ben Cutting, Mathew Gale, Chris Hartley, Alex Kepm, Alister Mcdermott, Kemar Roach.