West Indies captain Brian Lara is available for selection for defending champions Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados in the five-day Carib Beer Series Challenge Final, which starts on Thursday at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre.
T&T team manager Omar Khan did not give any details on the final composition of the national squad to face Barbados, but he did indicate the possibility that Lara could play, along with his West Indies team-mate Dwayne Bravo. "Barbados is no easy side to beat. We had some good battles in the past and this one will be no different," Khan commented.
"But we have the upper hand," he continued. "We have had a good season going into this final. We only played one bad day of cricket this season and that was on the third day of the first game against Barbados, which cost us the match."
Speaking about T&T's five-run victory in the KFC Cup final against the Windward Islands last Saturday in St Vincent, Khan said: "It was a tremendous team effort.
"Trinidad and Tobago have been unbeaten throughout the tournament and to have won makes it even more special. No other team has managed to go through the season undefeated and the guys will feel very proud to hold that special honour."
Trinidad and Tobago had some nail-biting matches in the KFC Cup which had many fans on the edge of their seats. In the semi-final against Guyana and then the final, T&T found themselves in some perilous positions. According to Khan, complacency is something the team has to work on, but he also noted that close finishes are what finals are all about.
"The team that keeps their head on until the end and proves their character, displays their determination, heart and passion will win the game," Khan said.
"All team members put up a fight. When one fails, the others know it is time to come to the party. Everyone plays a part in the team's success, it is a total team effort."
Commenting on Kieron Pollard's performance, Khan said: "He has been excellent for us this season but now he needs to work on his shot selection. He needs to choose which ball to go after and to understand that at this level you need to play sensible cricket.
"Pollard is a good player and a talented all-rounder. He has a very effective slower delivery. He has broken some crucial partnerships this season and he will definitely be a good addition to the West Indies World Cup team."
Khan also commended T&T skipper Daren Ganga for his excellent leadership on and off the field. The T&T squad will have a training session tomorrow at Gilbert Park, California before their clash with Barbados.