Bahamian senior men’s national cricket team player Marc Taylor watched and listened to a virtual draft of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) TwentyTwenty (T20) this past Monday, but unfortunately, did not hear his name called.
The power-hitter was upset at first but eventually looked at the positive side of the situation.
“When I spoke with the managers for the teams, I kind of got a general understanding as to why I wasn’t drafted. It is not over as yet. I still have an opportunity in the future. I just have to take a little more steps and measures to be recognized in the cricket arena,” Taylor said.
Coming from The Bahamas, where cricket is not as popular as other sports, Taylor had a tough time proving himself to teams. He went up against players who came from and play in cricket-centered countries. He admits it is a disadvantage being compared to those other players in the draft.
“It is a huge disadvantage,” Taylor said. “Cricket over here is nowhere near on the level as it is in Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Although your stats are better than some of the players who were selected, you are from The Bahamas and no one knows us as a cricket country. We play cricket but it’s not as established as in those other countries.”
Teams’ inability to see him play live also played a factor in him not being drafted.
Taylor said there were three teams that were interested in him, but at the last minute, only two showed interest – the Barbados Tridents and the Jamaica Tallawahs.
“It was a good and straight-up conversation. They basically told me that I should get into some tournaments abroad like Jamaica, Barbados or one of those countries, so that persons can actually see the talent. Even though, stats wise, it is good, no one saw it with their own eyes. [T]hey gave me a guideline, so I can be well-prepared for the next draft,” said Taylor.
The Bahamian was aiming for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Americas spot on the franchises. It is an initiative that the CPL put in place in 2015. That allows one player from an ICC associate member in the Americas, which The Bahamas is a part of, to have a reserved spot on each of the rosters.
Known for being an opening batsman, his highest score is 223 runs in a 40-over match in 27.4 overs. One of his best offensive outputs in T20 matches is 222 runs. Both of those outputs came in local leagues. Internationally, he produced three centuries in T20 action.
Taylor plays for the Police Enforcers in the Bahamas Cricket Association (BCA) T20 League and also for The Bahamas in the BCA Nations League.
The local cricket league is still inactive due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government of The Bahamas has not given the green light to resume organized sporting activities as yet. The Bahamian is excited to hit the pitch, but for now, he will keep practicing. In addition to getting back on the pitch soon, Taylor hopes that the national team gets to travel more, so that he can get more exposure and recognition by teams from the CPL and other leagues.
The four franchises other than the Tallawahs and Tridents in the CPL are the St. Lucia Zouks, the Guyana Amazon Warriors, the Trinbago Knight Riders and the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Taylor is looking forward to being the first Bahamian to be drafted in the CPL.