JAMAICA Tallawahs captain Andre Russell voiced his displeasure with the decision to shift more home games away from Sabina Park, after his side’s first loss of the season to Guyana Amazon Warriors in Florida.
The noisy and at times hostile atmosphere of about 4000 fans were overwhelmingly in favour of the visiting Warriors during a 71-run win over the designated home team.
“Honestly, I’m very unhappy at the moment,” Russell said after the game. “The guys fought tonight … but based on tonight’s game, it wasn’t like a home game. It didn’t feel that way.
“Every boundary, every wicket it was going Guyana’s way. [Shimron] Hetmyer came out, he played some good shots and just the crowd being in his back, it kind of gave him that pump and it shouldn’t be like that.
I think we should have that home advantage where a guy hits a boundary, he hears silence. Right? If that’s how home advantage is supposed to be in these conditions, then you have to wonder. You hit a four, you hit a six, you’re not hearing nothing because a Guyana crowd is out here and they want to see Guyana do well.”
According to Russell, his fielders were under pressure almost from the start of the match. When Samuel Badree struck with the seventh ball of the night to trap Chadwick Walton lbw, a hush fell over the ground before it became lively once more in the next over as Hetmyer hit his first two boundaries off Imad Wasim on his way to becoming the youngest centurion in CPL history at age 21.
The Warriors eventually bested the previous CPL-best total at the venue to make 209 for 7.
“Honestly, these are little things that get me upset from the second over,” Russell said. “Guys saying stuff to you on the boundary. I don’t want to field on the boundary because guys are pressuring you. It shouldn’t be like that. When I go to Guyana, then I expect that.
“Guys were upset. I was upset. When I got off the field, I was throwing shoes, everything all around the changing room, things that fans don’t need to see but that’s how upsetting these things can be. You want to know that the crowd is behind you in your home game.
So if we go to Barbados and we see a sea of blue, then we expect that. But you’re playing a home game, you want to feel that home advantage. You get a wicket, you hear that loud cheer. It gives the bowler energy even if you’re tired.”
The Tallawahs have now lost four of five matches in Lauderhill since the CPL’s first matches in Florida in 2016. (ESPN Cricinfo)
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.