With 16 wickets in his last 10 T20Is since making headlines by playing a pivotal role for IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals, left arm pacer Obed McCoy is eager to stay ahead of the Caribbean Premier League’s 10th season. The 25-year-old has switched sides this season and will play for the Barbados Royals. “Obviously it’s a new franchise for me, but I’ve settled in well with the team because there are a lot of familiar faces in our camp. It’s like a continuation of the IPL itself, and I’m glad the franchise has their confidence again I feel at home here and that helps me face matches with confidence,” said McCoy.
After missing out on the IPL trophy earlier this year, the Kingstown pacesetter has already set his eyes on the title. “We are here to win the CPL and my plan is to go ahead and take wickets to get the team over the rope.”
The Barbados Royals kick off their CPL campaign against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, who are led by veteran Dwayne Bravo and boast a strong lineup.
However, McCoy says his teammates will focus on playing their respective roles. “With wickets in the Caribbean you know the majority will be spin tracks, so I think that will play a part. I think it will be for batters to get in and make the most of it, while for the bowling team and the middle overs will be crucial. That said, we have to check all the boxes and adapt to the conditions every time we go out,” he said.
The Royals will also have new captain David Miller with the squad later in the tournament, with Kyle Mayers acting as his deputy in his absence, and McCoy has shared his thoughts on what fans can expect from the South African superpower. “It’s something that’s relatively new to him, but when I see him I think it’s a job that suits him. He’s a really experienced player and I’m sure he’s always learning, which also goes for captaincy. He has been in exceptional form.” lately and we hope he can lead us from the front with passion and help the team to be the best they can be.”
It was Miller’s Gujarat Titans who defeated McCoy’s Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2022 final, and McCoy says he “will definitely talk about it, but he (Miller) was in great shape and credit him.”
An impressive IPL season, followed by decisive performances for the West Indies, has elevated McCoy’s status as an international bowler, but the wily left-armer won’t change a thing.
“Well, I don’t put any pressure on myself. Ultimately, it’s about trusting my ability and performing. When I’m on a cricket pitch, I don’t think about the noise from outside. I let my skills speak for themselves. I don’t try too much thinking about taking wickets, and my goal is to just control and apply pressure, it’s inevitable that the wickets will come after that,” he added.
The CPL, the largest carnival in world cricket, has produced several players over the years, and McCoy is one of many scouted by teams around the world through his appearances in the league.
Commenting on the importance of the league, he said: “CPL has been a great platform for young players and I have experienced it myself. When young players can speak and experience an atmosphere that has proven international players, I think it gives them great insights and accelerate their growth.”
“Ultimately you know how they think, what their routines are like and you pick up on the good stuff. It’s about understanding what they need to do to get to the next level,” McCoy added.
He seems to be enjoying his cricket at the moment but the past year has not been easy for the Barbados Royals sailor. “At the start of the IPL I came out of an injury and was a bit devastated to be honest in terms of where my fitness had gone but I knew that when I get down and really get into the rhythm of things, I’d actually started to get fit again and that helped.
“I knew it was a challenge to go to a big tournament with little to no match training to my name, but I just went into the match with confidence and the fact that my role was very clear made a lot of difference. to stick to my strengths, and it worked out well,” McCoy said.
McCoy also added that working with one of the greatest bowlers, Lasith Malinga, has benefited him. “At Malinga, he told me that he also went through a phase where you just come out of an injury, but you have to get into the middle of things quickly. He just advised me to bowl as much as possible in the nets, and I think that really helped to get my fitness and rhythm back. I went from bowling about 30 balls to 60 balls per session, sometimes even more.”
With new goals in his sights, McCoy will be one of the key bowlers in the Barbados Royals lineup alongside Jason Holder and Oshane Thomas, and he’s already enjoying the opportunity. “I’m really looking forward to this season. I think those few months (IPL) really put my career back on track, and I just want to keep evolving as a player, understand the game better and just work my way into the top as much as I can, starting with helping my team win the CPL trophy,” McCoy signed.