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Saturday 23 June 2018
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Parkites hailed as best in the Caribbean

Queen’s Park captain Justin Guillen, right, and his Central Sports counterpart Kjorn Ottley, shake hands before their clubs clashed in the opening match of the Premier I cricket competition yesterday at Invaders Ground in Felicity. From left are Parkites manager Jeffrey Guillen, Ryerson Bhagoo of the National League, second vice-president of the TTCB Lalman Kowlessar and Dudnath Ramkessoon, chairman of the National League.

DOUBLE crowned champions of last season’s cricket season, Queen’s Park, have been hailed as possibly the best team in the region.

This from second vice-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board Lalman Kowlessar who praised the historic Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain cricket institution when the National League Premier I competition bowled off yesterday.

The Parkites copped the championship of the top tier of local competition for the third consecutive year and were also convincing winners of the 50-Overs contest in 2017.

In addition, the club’s second team also ran away with the Premiership II title to underline their domination of local cricket.

In a short opening ceremony of the 2018 National League at Invaders Ground in Felicity, Chaguanas, Kowlessar, a veteran the administrator Central Zone of the TTCB, was effusive in his commendation of Queen’s Park.

He welcomed the defending champions to Felicity, as inclement weather prevent play from starting on schedule in their first round match against Central Sports.

Kowlessar also warmly congratulated David Furlonge, coach of Queen’s Park, for the unprecedented success he has had with the club over the last few years, charting their success with a string of young talented players.

He said both teams possessed many outstanding players and it would be easy to select a national team from the wealth of talent available, and who will be on show in the main fixture of the opening round of the Premiership I.

Queen’s Park are captained by left-handed opening batsman Justin Guillen, while Kjorn Ottley is at the helm of the Central Sports outfit which finished fourth in the standings last season.

Also present at yesterday’s opening were Dudnath Rankessoon, new chairman of the National League, along with fellow committee members Ryerson Bhagoo and Rajin Poorai, along with manager of the Parkites, Jeffrey Guillen and his Central Sports counterpart Richard Ramkissoon.

Chairman Dudnath Ramkessoon urged the cricketers to put their best foot forward and stake their claim for national selection in a revised format where teams will be engaged over two days instead of three.

The cost-cutting measure was necessary as the TTCB grapples with severe financial constraints, but Ramkessoon predicted that the change would not prevent exciting cricket this season.

“We expect a high standard of cricket, model behaviour, and a level of professionalism which will make your coaches, managers, club and supporters quite proud,” said the former national captain, who is also the Cricket Operations Officer of the TTCB.

He said the onus will be on the players – with their attractive performances – to act as an incentive for sponsors to come forward and assist the clubs who are being financially challenged to keep playing at the highest level of the local game.

Ramkessoon also expressed his appreciation to the umpires officiating in this season’s National League, saying they continue to provide yeoman service because of their passion for the game.

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