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TT to host 2018 CPL opening match, final

TRINIDAD AND Tobago will be the host nation for the opening match, as well as the final, of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The CPL, in a media release on its website yesterday, unveiled the 2018 fixture list with the Trinbago Knight Riders, the 2017 champions, hosting the St Lucia Stars on August 8.

In the 2017 edition, both the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair and the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba were used as TT venues, with the Oval hosting the group matches and the Tarouba facility hosting the latter matches, and final.

But no official venue has been confirmed for the three home matches for the Dwayne Bravo-captained Trinbago Knight Riders, in the preliminary round.

The Trinbago Knight Riders will be entertaining the Jamaica Tallawahs on August 10 and the St Kitts/Nevis Patriots a day later.

Three games will be contested at the Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida. Jamaica Tallawahs will be facing Guyana Amazon Warriors (August 18), Trinbago Knight Riders (August 19) and Barbados Tridents (August 22).

In the play-off stage, at venues to be decided, with two play-off matches carded for September 11 (between the top two finishers) and September 12 (between the third and fourth-placed teams).

The semi-final will take place on September 14, at Tarouba, between the winners of the second play-off (from September 12) and the losers of the first play-off (from September 11).

The winners of the semi-final will square off against the winners of the first play-off in the grand final, at Tarouba, on September 16.

Trinbago Knight Riders manager Colin Borde, in an interview from New Zealand yesterday, is expecting the TT fans to turn out in their numbers, as they did during the team’s successful campaigns in 2015 (when they were the TT Red Steel) and 2017.

“It’s great to be opening the tournament and our defence at home,” said Borde. “The crowd support over the years has always been tremendous. It gives the team the extra boost in tough situations and the players certainly welcome that kind of energetic support once again.”

Former Australian batsman Simon Katich is likely to be retained as the Trinbago Knight Riders coach for the 2018 edition.

“The preparation is always ongoing,” said Borde. “Players are currently engaged globally and its important that we monitor their progress globally, both in form and fitness. We are constantly in contact with all the players wherever they may be.

“Our support staff are aware of the physical areas to be addressed with each player,” Borde continued. “Coach Katich is acutely aware of areas he will need to work on, alongside skipper Bravo as they plan our defence.

“Prior to our team camp which starts on August 1, we will have smaller sessions with the local players who are available. (The year) 2018 will be very competitive once again so we will be ready to provide smart, competitive, entertaining cricket by approaching each challenge professionally,” he ended.

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