Jamaica Tallawahs captain Andre Russell is admittedly unhappy with what he perceives as the lack of true home-field advantage following a loss to the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) at Central Broward Regional Park, in Florida, on Saturday.
The Tallawahs crashed to a 71-run defeat, their first of the season, on the back of an impressive ton from Warriors opening batsman Shimron Hetmeyer. Despite being designated as a home match, the game was played in Fort Lauderdale as part of an agreement between Worldwide Sports Management Group, who bought the Tallawahs from Texas-based businessmen Ron Parikh and Manish Patel, and Lauderhill’s Central Broward Regional Park.
The agreement offers exclusive rights to stage international cricket at the facility in 2017. As part of the deal, they have guaranteed three international events per year. The venue has been unfriendly for the Jamaica-based franchise since the move, however, perhaps speaking to the record that has seen the team lose four of five matches at the venue since 2016.
“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,” Russell told Espncricinfo.
“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,” he added.
“Honestly, these are little things that get me upset from the second over. 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.”