Sport

Tougher Paul Palmer looks to Scorpions challenge

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 23, 2017

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Paul Palmer, reappointed captain of Jamaica Scorpions for the first two games of the regional four-day cricket season, says he has toughened as a person and is much better prepared for the role this time around.

Palmer, the former national youth skipper, captained the Scorpions two seasons ago, but had dismal individual and team results, and lost his place in the squad in the middle of his debut first-class campaign. The 25-year-old left-hander suffered a torrid time with the bat and the Scorpions struggled as a unit.

Nikita Miller, who captained the side to fourth place last season, is sidelined after haemorrhoid operation last month, so the national selectors have given Palmer a second bite of the cherry.

The 13-member squad departs for Guyana today to face the Jaguars this weekend, before moving on to Trinidad and Tobago to clash with the Red Force next week.

“Last time I got my feet wet in terms of getting the chance to play among the big boys. All in all I learned from the experience and I'm looking forward to this challenge for the first two games with Nikita Miller being out,” Palmer told the Jamaica Observer on Saturday.

“It's always a good feeling to lead your country, and it's a step in the right direction for me because my previous stint as captain didn't go so well. One would think it should have gone better, but I wasn't too hard on myself because it was my debut season. I made my debut as captain, that's unheard of and not many people have ever done that,” he continued.

Palmer said a solid support group helped him through a difficult phase in the aftermath of the flop in his debut stint.

“Coming from that disappointing first season it was important for me to have good people around me. You had high hopes and it didn't go the way you wanted it to, but you have good people around you to support you and to help you build.

“I had the opportunity to do some work with [Scorpions Head] Coach Robert Samuels and I had talks with senior batsmen like Chadwick Walton to name one, but all in all I think the preparation for this season has gone well so I'm looking forward to it,” the top-order batsman said.

He insisted that a strong season is on the cards after substantial background work in the preseason, and added that being successful as captain and doing well with the bat will “come hand in hand”.

“I've been doing some good work, so I'll just try to keep it up. A main focus for me is to get amongst the runs; that's what I've been working hard to do, and I'll see how that goes this season,” he told the Observer.

Scorpions squad — Paul Palmer (captain), Trevon Griffith, Assad Fudadin, Brandon King, Garth Garvey, Fabian Allen, Romaine Morris (wicketkeeper), Derval Green, Damani Sewell, Dennis Bulli, Paul Harrison, Keno Wallace, Jason Dawes.

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