IN a cheeky shout-out to his counterpart in St Lucia, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said to Mr Allen Chastanet “take that!”
He was referring, in a moment of national pride and exuberance, to the result in the final game of the successfully conducted Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 cricket tournament here in Trinidad and Tobago.
Local franchise, Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), delivered a command performance on Thursday in the final game against St Lucia Zouks, to stamp their name loudly, proudly and boldly all over this tournament.
As reported yesterday, Kieron Pollard’s men demolished the side led by Darren Sammy almost at every stage of the game. This is, of course, once the bowlers had stopped the momentum of the Zouks who, batting first, looked good up to 60 for one. Having managed to get to 154 all out, from 19 overs and one ball, this target always looked within reach by the TKR, who went into this game having won all 11 prior matches in the tournament.
This was their fourth CPL title.
Taking command in the middle in a third wicket partnership, Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo teamed up to deliver a magnificent result, which saw their team complete an unbeaten run, 12 wins in 12 games.
For having ultimately approved the decision for hosting the tournament on local soil, with the touchy issues regarding the protocols attending Covid-19 restrictions in our midst, Dr Rowley would have had the keenest of interest in the conduct of these activities.
Local sporting fans also got a lot of entertainment from the staging of the tournament, never mind having to follow it virtually. The stamp of authority which the team placed on this contest undoubtedly provided a tremendous lift in the spirit of the population, sports fan, cricket aficionado or ordinary citizen alike.
Trinidad and Tobago was on show in many countries across the rest of the world over the three and a half weeks of the tournament, and TKR’s performance made so much of a major difference in how we savour this moment.
Saying how pleased he was at the manner of execution of the tournament, and of the pride-boosting results this team had secured, the Prime Minister teased his colleague in Castries, “wherever you are, the Zouks have been defeated by the Trinbago Knight Riders, take that!”
It was a moment of joy, at a time and in an era in which every little bit helps. This is well-placed counter-balance to the tendency for gloom, both with respect to the pandemic itself and to inevitable foreboding as to what we might expect, especially in a national budget just up ahead.
The sentiments expressed both by the ministers of Sport and of Tourism, as well as by the Leader of the Opposition, regarding their reflection of this moment also serve as a national morale booster.
It reminds us once more, as calypsonian Kurt Allen so aptly pointed out some years ago, sometimes when we need a lift in national spirit, it is from our sporting heroes that it comes.
Heartiest congratulations and thanks, therefore, to the triumphant TKR!