WE CONGRATULATE the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) on their victory in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The organisers of the CPL should also be congratulated on the overall tournament, which has proven to be, yet again, a sport of the great potential.
Sunday’s victory was all the more impressive as it represented TKR’s third CPL crown overall, with their first coming as Red Steel.
As the large crowds have demonstrated, the CPL tournament has proven to be an attractive format for the sport. While it already draws an international crowd, it could reach an even wider audience in years to come.
The degree of excitement was such that on Sunday the crowds persisted through a 90-minute rain intermission. They were richly rewarded with exciting cricket.
The performance of the TKR was a showcase for the power of teamwork. Batsmen and bowlers were effective in tandem, particularly Colin Munro and Fawad Ahmed, respectively. The very composition of Shahrukh Khan’s team was a model of international co-operation.
Little wonder, then, the Brian Lara Cricket Academy was packed with tourists, both locals and foreigners.
Gone are the days when cricket – once an elitist gentleman’s game – followed a stiff format. Today it is vibrant and dynamic and reflects the diverse societies in which it is played. It is the second most popular sport in the world.
As a nation we should take full advantage of the sport’s reach. It is heartening to see the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba proven an effective setting for the tournament but efforts should be made to ensure sustainable sporting outreach in communities. All must keep an eye on nurturing the next generation of talent if the sport is to remain a viable income-earner for our economy.
But it’s not all about money. One lesson from the Allen Stanford affair is that there must always be vigilance in the administration of any sport, or else the very values of the game can be undermined. At the end of the day, sport should teach us about co-operation, fair competition and the importance of hard work.
Meanwhile, the sea of red that filled Tarouba is a sign that patriotism is alive and well. In the din of day-to-day life this is something easily forgotten. With a constant flow of bad news and outrageous political rhetoric it is also often forgotten that we are a harmonious and fun-loving people. The tournament, with its Carnival-like spirit and displays, gave people a chance to prove the naysayers wrong.
August and September are now well-established as cricket months, thanks to this tournament. The TKR has given us a gift and the CPL a showcase of our talent, culture and spirit.