Guyana can win the title - Guptill
Martin Guptill, the New Zealand batsman, believes his franchise Guyana Amazon Warriors can win the inaugural Caribbean Premier League. Guptill has been one of the linchpins of the Guyana batting but a broken bone in his right hand ended his stint even as his franchise prepares to take on Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel in Thursday's semi-final.
"I definitely think we can (win the title)," Guptill said. "We showed we can with our chase of a decent total against Antigua (last Saturday). We got to the last ball and we came through. The spirit is good in the camp and hopefully we can take that forward to the semi-final and hopefully the final."
Guptill and his national team-mate James Franklin have impressed for Guyana and former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor has also done decently for Trinidad & Tobago. Guptill hoped these performances would further raise the profile of New Zealand's cricketers, although he believed they needed to play more Test cricket.
"James Franklin and I have had reasonably successful tournaments. It puts us out there and hopefully people will take notice. From what I read, Sir Richard's (Hadlee) comments were more to do with (New Zealand's limited amount of) Test cricket than anything else and we are struggling a little in the Test game at the moment. The only way we can get better is by playing more Tests and if that can come in the next few years and we can keep developing as a team then who knows where we can go from there."
Guptill joked he was filling a dual role in the Guyana side - opening the batting and also acting as a spy in the camp, trying to pick up some inside information on West Indies players ahead of the Caribbean side's tour of New Zealand in December. That information has included an attempt to decipher the skills of Sunil Narine, although, as Guptill admitted, trying to read the spinner has been anything but easy.
"I have only faced him once in the nets and he was only bowling offspin then so I do not know what is going to happen when he comes to New Zealand at the end of the year. I have been trying to see when he bowls how he does what he does but it is pretty hard to pick it up."
Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here