Now that CPL (Caribbean Premier League) 2020 is over and TKR (Trinbago Knight Riders) fans have had time to savour its victory, and probably forget about it, I’d like to put the “record-breaking” performance into perspective.
TKR won the 12 matches it played—ten league, one semi-final, one final—the first time any team had played unbeaten in any one edition of the CPL. However, all its matches were played “at home”, at the Brian Lara Stadium or the Queen’s Park Oval.
As all cricketers would attest, and cricket records will support, playing at home is a definite advantage, due mainly to familiarity with the pitches/conditions.
Even better, the Oval is the club ground for many of the TKR players. I posit that home advantage would have played a part, perhaps a big part, in TKR’s record performance.
On the other hand, the lack of spectators would have mitigated this advantage somewhat, but not to any great extent.
When judging TKR’s record run, one must remember in the league stage, TKR played ten home matches and none “away”. All the other teams had zero home matches and ten away.
The norm is for each team to play five home and five away matches. Lop-sided advantage—TKR. The die was always loaded in TKR’s favour. The record books should reflect that.
And while we should enjoy the moment, we should resist the temptation to make this “record” out to be more than it is. Most would agree what was played was enjoyable and certainly better than nothing. But whatever it was, it just was not cricket.