COACH Kelvin Williams, who was surprised with the support given to the Courts T20 Women's Grand Slam Tournament last year, expects this year's tournament to be even bigger than last year when the second edition bowls off on Monday.
Williams, who is the coach of the TT Red Force cricket team, will coach TECU South in this year's tournament. TECU South will be captained by West Indies Women's wicketkeeper Merissa Aguilleira and will also include West Indies cricketers Britney Cooper, Deandra Dottin and Shakera Selman.
Williams said he expects larger crowds than last year, with matches being played at the National Cricket Centre in Couva, Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba and at the FCB Clarke Road Ground in Penal.
"I think last year was surprising to me. The venues were well attended as far as spectators were concerned. I expect to see more spectators at the grounds this time around because the tournament is shaping up to be a bigger one," Williams said.
The tournament will feature four teams also comprising UDECOTT North captained by Lee-Ann Kirby, Trident Sports East led by Stacy-Ann King and LCB Contractors Limited Central with Anisa Mohammed as its skipper.
Williams likes his team's chances this year after finishing second last year. "I think our chances are as good as any other team. Last year we finished runners up to UDECOTT North and I expect the competition to be a bit tougher this year because of the regional players in the tournament."
Some of the other top regional players that will play in the tournament are Shemaine Campbelle (LCB Contractors), Hayley Matthews (Trident Sports), Kycia Knight (Trident Sports) and Natasha McLean (UDECOTT North).
Defending Women's T20 World Cup champions West Indies will try to win the title again on home soil in November. Williams, speaking about the importance of the Grand Slam tournament said, "It is very tournament especially that West Indies is hosting the Women's World Cup T20 and since West Indies is about to select their final squad. It is very important for the players who actually turn out (in the Grand Slam), especially for those in the (West Indies training) camps to put in some good performances to make sure they are part of the West Indies T20 World Cup squad."