Firing up a nation's imagination

Tiny Caribbean country makes it to CLT20 League Phase

 
Now those gangling pacers and daredevil batsmen have become as rare as snow on a Caribbean beach. But the on-going Champions League Twenty20 might just offer what the West Indian cricket needed – a good performance from a national team.

Trinidad and Tobago, the lone West Indian representatives in the tournament, have entered the League Phase where they will face New South Wales here on Friday and Diamond Eagles two days later.

It has been a remarkable run so far from a team that consists of two regular West Indian players and a handful of semi-professionals. Even their captain Darren Ganga, an employee with the national petroleum company, needed Trinidad government to convince his employers before taking the flight to India.

Their performance might not be entirely set in the West Indian tradition, free-flowing and as breathtaking as Calypso music. But a desire to win and willingness to support each other in crucial times are the hallmarks of this Trinidad side as they have displayed in two close encounters against Somerset and Deccan Chargers on Wednesday.

“It was a real challenge to play against the current IPL champions, and it motivated us. We wanted to prove that we are equal to that challenge. We are looking forward to the next two games. We know they are going to be tough.

“But we are feeling confident about them. Our team is more like a family, and we are enjoying a different culture here, and focused on playing good cricket,” Dwayne Bravo said.

Good outing

The good outing of Trinidad has coincided with an end to bitter dispute between players and the WICB, and Bravo has no doubt that it contained the omens of a brighter future.

“We are all proud to play for the West Indies. It is a good thing that the dispute has been resolved.  “All of us are eagerly looking forward to play against Australia soon after the Champions League,” Bravo said.

The settlement at the time of Trinidad’s surge in the Champions League might have been a happenstance, but the increased TV viewership during the event in the Caribbean island is certainly not a fluke.

“This tournament and these wins are going to help the Caribbean cricket a lot. We have rich cricketing culture and I hope these wins will attract more people, especially youngsters, to cricket,” Bravo said. Will we see the emergence of a new Viv Richards or Malcolm Marshall?

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