ALESCON COMETS will be aiming to secure their first TT Cricket Board (TTCB) National League Premiership I Division title in over a decade this weekend when they face Merry Boys in the final round of matches at Pierre Road Recreation Ground, Chaguanas, today. Action bowls off at 10am.
Comets are atop the points standings with 101 points, but will need a favourable result against Merry Boys – at least first innings points – to officially dethrone Queen’s Park I as league champs.
The only team with a mathematical chance of overhauling Comets are Central Sports, and they will be entertaining First Citizens Clarke Road at the Invaders Ground in Felicity.
The Parkites I squad will be hosting Raw Fitness Victoria United at the Queen’s Park Oval while, in a meeting of the cellar-placed outfits, PowerGen will be squaring off against Queen’s Park II at Syne Village, Penal.
The title drought has been painstaking for Comets fans and players alike who have remained faithful to the cause. Their veteran leg-spinner Imran Khan is one such loyal soldier and perhaps fittingly is having a record season of his own and is on the brink of a bit of personal glory as well.
Khan, 33 year old, is just four wickets away from being the highest every wicket-taker in the National League Premiership I division. Left-arm orthodox Kavesh Kantasingh currently holds the record with 63 wickets from 10 games. Khan, on 60 wickets, can not only end Comets’ title drought this weekend but break Kantasingh’s record in just seven games.
“We’re a bit confident. We had a little hiccup last game but what’s important is tomorrow’s game and everybody is hyped up and confident,” he said yesterday.
Although team success is paramount, Khan acknowledged he wants the most wickets record as well.
“That is one of my main goals going into this game. It will be a good accomplishment; the hard work is paying off, although I dominate the first class level (the challenge) is to do it as this level,” he said.
Being with Comets for close to 20 years from the youth level, Khan is desperate to see his club win the title. He is also pleased that his bowling this season has played a major role in Comets push for the title.
“Yeah I will be really happy, I have been with Comets all my life and it’s about time we win a title. Leading the team to victory in a couple games will always be special to me, knowing I started my career here and to give back to the club will always feel good,” he said.
Debideen Manick, coach of Comets, has prepared his team well with their goal of securing first innings points this weekend.
“We had a really intense session (yesterday) and we are ready to put in a top performance to ensure we are crowned champions. We have been working extremely hard, practising three times a week. The boys are all committed and they are hungry because the club would not have had this type of success in over 15 years,” Manick said.
Manick credited the management of the team during the offseason as well as the sound club structure which made his job easier.
“Management did a very good job in assembling a really talented bunch of young cricketers. Imran Khan has been extremely successful this year. Every single match except for against Clarke Road which was affected by rain, he had 10 wicket hauls. We have others like Derone Davis, the experience of Rayad (Emrit) and we brought in (Guyana’s Christopher) Barnwell as well who has contributed to the team,” he said.
The Comets coach said there is nothing his players must fear from Merry Boys as they have seen it all and conquered this season.
“They are an experienced bunch of cricketers there (at Merry Boys). They have a good pace attack but we have no problem with that. We faced Queen’s Park with Shannon Gabriel and did well, I don’t see why we cannot beat Merry Boys. We’re not boastful but quietly optimistic we can pick up first innings,” he said.
Alescon Comets 101
Central Sports 97
Queen’s Park I 76
Merry Boys 60
Raw Fitness Victoria United 59
First Citizens Clarke Road 56
Queen’s Park II 51