Smith all set for Hero CPL 2018
Thu, 19th, Jul 2018
Batting star Dwayne Smith is already targetting another successful season with Barbados Tridents, and is hoping to capitalise on the increase in home matches at his beloved Kensington Oval, in order to leave his unique mark again on the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
The big-hitting right-hander is once again expected to be a key part of the Tridents unit, which will be led by inspirational captain Jason Holder, as they go in pursuit of their second Hero CPL title, after winning their first four years ago.
This year, the historic Oval will host five matches, which represents half of the Tridents preliminary round campaign, and Smith believes this augurs well not only for the team, but for his motivation.
“Three out of my four hundreds in the Hero CPL have been made at Kensington Oval so that tells you a lot about my connection to the venue,” the seasoned campaigner said.
“I love playing at home and I have had a lot of support over the years from fans there. It’s good to score runs there as well because you have your family looking on who can’t make it to the other games outside of Barbados.
“I have also grown up playing at Kensington, so I should also know how the pitch plays, but it’s just important to get out there and get in some big performances.”
He added: “I’m glad the team has more matches at Kensington Oval this year and I would like to see the crowds come out and support the Tridents. They’ve always wanted more matches, so they need to come out in their numbers and give their support.”
Last season, Smith was among the leading batsmen, stroking two hundreds - exactly 100 in a losing effort away to Guyana Amazon Warriors and an unbeaten 103 in a winning cause against St Lucia Stars at the Oval.
In the 2014 campaign, Smith also notched two magnificent hundreds and with the start of the 2018 season already looming on the horizon, the prolific Barbadian stroke-maker says he is already feeling the Hero CPL buzz.
“I’m feeling good. I’m always upbeat for the Hero CPL so I’m just ready to go and represent Barbados Tridents as best as I can,” he explained.
“I don’t really set goals for the season, I just try to get as many runs as I can and put my team in a good position, whether we’re chasing or batting first. My plans are simple: just try to get as many runs as I can!”
He continued: “Scoring centuries in T20 cricket, it’s all about getting a good start. As an opener, you get to bat a lot of balls and if you’re going to get a hundred in T20s, you must bat the majority of the balls and try to make the most of them.”
Smith will form part of a formidable batting line-up for Tridents, with South African star Hashim Amla, New Zealander Martin Guptill and the West Indies pair of Roston Chase and Shai Hope, expected to provide the bulk of the runs.
With 318 T20s under his belt along, however, Smith is the most experienced Tridents batsman but says he never feels under any pressure to deliver.
“About 10 years ago the answer would have been different but at this point in my cricket career, I don’t worry about pressure,” he pointed out.
“My main objective is to get out there and get in the performances I need to get in. I am one who just like to play freely and enjoy my cricket at all times, and that’s the best way I play.”
The 2018 Hero CPL runs from August 8 to September 16, and features the Tridents, Trinbago Knight Riders, Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, St Lucia Stars and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, contesting 34 matches.
Tickets are already on sale online at www.cplt20.com.