Jayawardene key to Tallawahs fortunes: Mickey Arthur
Kingston (Jamaica), May 9 (IANS) Head coach Mickey Arthur believes the acquisition of Sri Lankan star Mahela Jayawardene will be pivotal to Jamaica Tallawah's chances in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which bowls off next month.
Jayawardene's presence, according to the South African, is part of an overall strengthening of the squad as the Kingston-based franchise look to recapture the title they won in 2013, reports CMC.
"I am really excited to get an international player of that quality joining the team, and being able to bat through those middle overs for us is huge. We were very excited when we signed Mahela. We signed him for that role and we are really happy that we have him on board because we think he will do a really good job for us," Arthur said.
"It is important that we keep improving. Our chances are right up there. We will do well. If we play to the best of our abilities there is just no doubt about us winning the tournament. I am just really excited and looking forward to it."
Jayawardene, who recently quit international cricket following an illustrious career in all formats, will be joined by the likes of overseas players Chris Lynn, New Zealander Daniel Vettori and South African Rusty Theron.
Big-hitting opener Chris Gayle was one of four players retained along with Andre Russell, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton. Jermaine Blackwood, who recently struck his maiden Test hundred for West Indies against England, will also further bolster the squad.
Arthur said he was pleased with the Tallawahs composition and was looking forward to getting preparation started when the camp opens on June 12.
"We feel that we have strengthened the squad in every area that we felt we needed to. We are very happy with the squad that we have at our disposal. We have got our fingers on the pulse and making sure that these guys are all ready and prepared, so that when we get into camp they will be fit and ready to go," he said.
Tallawahs open their campaign against Barbados Tridents at Kensington Oval on June 23, three days after the tournament opens in Bridgetown.