AFTER being overlooked in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League draft opener Lendl Simmons is relishing the opportunity to represent Trinbago Knight Riders this season.
After two low scores to start the tournament, Simmons cracked 63 off 38 deliveries with five fours and five sixes to guide TKR to a seven-wicket win over St Lucia Zouks, at the Queen's Park Oval, earlier today.
Simmons was not selected in the draft, but TKR signed the right-hander as a replacement for Colin Munro for the first three matches. Simmons will now play the entire tournament as Dwayne Bravo will miss the whole competition because of a finger injury.
Simmons said he has put the draft behind him and is now anticipating the tournament with his new team. "Those things happen and you just have to put that behind and move on in life. It has been an honour to play for TKR, I always wanted to play for TKR. Now I am getting the opportunity to play the full CPL and I am looking forward to it."
The opener said he is comfortable playing for TKR as he has reunited with his friends. "I am playing with most of the guys I grew up playing cricket with (such as Kieron) Pollard (and Denesh) Ramdin, so I am really looking forward to that."
Simmons and Ramdin put on 72 runs for the third wicket after losing two early wickets, yesterday. Simmons said he was not concerned because TKR are equipped with quality batsmen.
"Me and Ramdin always bat well together. The depth in our batting losing one wicket at the top is not really a big difference, so we just have to go out there and just back ourselves and for myself I just do what I do best in the powerplay."
Top order batsmen Munro and Darren Bravo will be available for TKR's next match against Jamaica Tallawahs on Friday. Deciding a starting XI may be difficult with Simmons and fellow top order batsman Tion Webster showing some form. Simmons said he is just concentrating on his game. "I just have to go out there and do what I am accustomed doing. The selectors have their job to do and I have my job to do."