Manager Colin Borde pointed at the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) family atmosphere and tremendous support from the fans as being pivotal in the team winning the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title, on Saturday.
TKR clinched a second CPL title after defeating St Kitts and Nevis Patriots by three wickets in front a capacity crowd at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in Tarouba.
Borde said the team is a family and it was a key factor in their title success this year. “The key to it is that we stuck together as a group. When we talk about the TKR family, we actually mean it, it is not something that we say. We treat each other with respect and we enjoy each other’s success,” Borde said.
Borde said each member of TKR played an important role during the campaign as not everyone will see the work done behind the scene. “It is a feeling of elation.
Certainly it has been a long process of planning months in advance, paying attention to the minute details as it relates to branding, logistics, team selection and team strategy.
It is a tournament that requires a lot of stamina, it happens really quickly. I think as a group we were very committed, and I am talking about players, backroom staff, marketing, the entire group was focused.”
Borde praised captain Dwayne Bravo for his leadership and coach Simon Katich, who took charge of the team for the first time.
The manager said squad depth was crucial to their triumphant campaign, as TKR lost a number of players due to injury or international commitments during the campaign.
“If you go over the course of the tournament, what you will find (is) that different players stepped up when it mattered. We weren’t reliant on just one individual. We lost a lot of big name players who contributed while they were here, but each player was just as strong as the next and I think that was the key to our success.”
The team lost South African Hashim Amla due to injury before the tournament began, while top batsman Brendon McCullum suffered a broken hand just before the knock-out phase began. Kevon Cooper, who was the hero in the final, also missed a few games due to injury and Pakistani Shadab Khan was unavailable for the full duration of the tournament, missing a few games due to international and domestic commitments.
TKR played in front of large and lively crowds during the tournament at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair and at the BLCA. Borde said the support received by TKR was appreciated and the team is grateful.
“Last but not least, I would like to say on behalf of the Trinbago Knight Riders to Trinidad and Tobago thank you. (They gave us) unwavering support. It was fantastic, you could never ask for better crowds and better supporters than Trinidad and Tobago.”