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Stanford Superstars back to basics

The key to the Stanford Superstars winning the inaugural US$20 million match against England on November 1 will be the players’ ability to execute the fundamentals of the game.

This is the view of Cardigan Connor, the former Anguillan and Hampshire fast bowler who is the Assistant Manager of the Stanford Superstars.

“The fitness level, awareness of the players, getting the team together, working together as one and also doing some research making sure we got some film on the English players and understanding our own game are crucial,”said Connor yesterday. The 47-year-old who took more than 1,000 wickets for Hampshire in the English County Championships but lived in the shadow of the legendary West Indies fast bowler Malcolm Marshall said if the Stanford Superstars are to come out on top they must play their own game and not allow themselves to be be dictated to by the English team.

“Ďt is a learning experience for the team but come November 1 we will be looking to win the game,” the 47-year-old said.

He was speaking at the Stanford Cricket Ground in Coolidge, a stone’s throw from VC Bird Airport which was abuzz with activity in preparation for the start of the Stanford Super Series which gets underway tomorrow.

In the first match of a week of activities leading up to the 20FOR20 on November 1, Trinidad and Tobago, the reigning Stanford 20/20 II champions led by Daren Ganga will play the Superstars. Connor said the Stanford Superstars captained by Chris Gayle has had six weeks of preparations under coach Eldine Baptiste who was assisted by Roger Harper.

He said training has gone well and it was only during the last two weeks that more rain than they bargained for caused a minor hiccup to their programme.

Connor said two practice matches were planned against a regional selection including leading players Runako Morton, Omari Banks, Pedro Collins and several others but only one was possible because of the inclement weather.

“That match was competitive which was exactly what we were looking for. Over the last few days the weather has improved and we are back on track,” Connor said. He said on November 1 there will be no room for error and this was a key point in keeping the players together so long before the Stanford Super Series.

“It was thought that the training camp was too long for a match that was going to be three hours but there is a lot at stake and the more quality time you can spend together is important,”Connor said. During that time he said the players got to know their teammates better and understood the management a lot more too and despite the ups and downs, ultimately the players want to get to the finish line first for the richest pay cheque in sports history.

The Trinidad and Tobago team was expected in Antigua last night after playing a warm-up match against a Barbados XI yesterday.

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