Rajasthan Royals’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jake Lush McCrum

Kausav Baruah

GUWAHATI, Feb 9: Although Guwahati missed out on hosting IPL matches last season owing to the outbreak of the coronavirus, but the Assam Cricket Association (ACA) Stadium in Barsapara here has certainly got the potential to be a really intimidating venue for any opposition, feels Rajasthan Royals’ Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jake Lush McCrum.

In an exclusive interview to The Assam Tribune, McCrum spoke on a number of aspects starting from Guwahati as a venue to the upcoming IPL auctions.

Excerpts from the interview:

The Assam Tribune (AT): Guwahati was ready to host matches before the coronavirus wreaked havoc last year. How do you see the chances this year as far as Guwahati as venue is concerned?

Jake Lush McCrum: The BCCI is currently working incredibly hard to create the safest plan possible for IPL 2021. We don’t know where it will take place at the moment, but we do hope it will be in India.

AT: RR had a camp at the ACA stadium last year, how do you rate the infrastructure as well as the facilities here?

McCrum: The infrastructure and facilities are very good in Guwahati. All our players and members of the staff had a lot of positive things to say regarding the stadium and facilities. The wickets were high quality and we had a great camp. The Barsapara stadium is a fantastic structure and with the crowd, it has the potential to be a really intimidating venue for any opposition.

AT: Ahead of the IPL auctions what would be RR’s policy this time around?

McCrum: We’ve retained a high quality core group of players and so we only have a few roles to fill. We recently held our trials and it was great to see the level of talent which will be present in the auction.

AT: With Steve Smith being released and Sanju Samson to captain the side, will it be youth over experience or a balanced side?

McCrum: Our objective before any match is to put out a side which we think will enable us to come out victorious. A balance between experience and youth is key and the quantities of each will vary based on the opposition and the roles we think are most important. We have some extremely talented young players who gained experience during the last season and I’m sure they will step up again this year. Sanju understands the Royals way better than anyone and has the ability to inspire our young players while also effectively managing and motivating the group as a whole.

AT: Riyan Parag has featured in two consecutive seasons now and with a fine show in Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, what do you have to say regarding the team management’s expectations?

McCrum: Riyan is someone who we all know has great potential and it’s good to see him growing in his role for Assam. Taking the captaincy for the final two matches was a fantastic experience for him and he performed well with bat and ball in those matches too, stepping up to the responsibility. He had some good displays for us last season, but we all know he could have done more.  He’s still young and developing, but we know he can execute his skills on the biggest stage and we will keep working hard to maximise his ability as a player