The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) has praised the “inspirational leadership” of Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR captain Kieron Pollard) for propelling his team to the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League T20 championship.
The TKR defeated the St Lucia Zouks by eight wickets, maintaining their unbeaten record in the tournament and securing their fourth lien on the CPL Trophy.
Leading off the tributes to Pollard and his team was TTCB president Azim Bassarath who described the win as “a timely tonic for a weary nation currently grappling with the effects of the Covid-19 which has disrupted the sport and every aspect of our normal lives”.
He said despite the fact that the entire tournament was played before empty stands because of Government regulations, interest among fans was very high and at the end, the stunning victory provided home fans with much to be pleased about.
“Our national psyche has taken a hit for the past six months as we come to grips with Covid-19 restrictions and the other negative fallout, but the TKR provided us with something to unite behind and in a manner showed that together we are really invincible against all odds,” said Bassarath.
The TTCB boss said Pollard showed his undisputed qualities by leading from the front and he had the good fortune of having players of the calibre of the Bravo brothers (Dwayne and Darren), Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Akeal Hosein, Khary Pierre, Tion Webster—all of whom played integral roles in securing the enviable regional franchise record.
Bassarath said throughout the tournament, the TKR had absorbed the loss of key players with Colin Munro fracturing his hand, Ali Khan out of a few matches, while Narine had a minor medical procedure and did not play the final. He said the record-breaking 12th win in the final was the best measure of how great a TKR squad Pollard and former New Zealand Test captain Brendon McCullum, team coach, have built.
The TTCB president sounded a cautionary note, however, in calling for a closer relationship between the CPL franchise owners and the territorial boards to ensure that the talent pool of regional T20 cricket is effectively refreshed to replace the current crop of stars when the time comes.