LEFT-ARM spinner Akeal Hosein was one of the surprise packages of the 2020 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament, ending the competition with ten wickets in seven matches which was pivotal in leading Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) to their fourth CPL title, on Thursday. Hosein dedicated the title and his performance to a special person.
Hosein’s father Michael died in March after a battle with cancer. The spinner was TKR’s second most successful bowler in the tournament and made scoring difficult for the opposition, ending the tournament with an economy rate of 5.55. Leg spinner Fawad Ahmed, who ended fourth overall on the wicket chart, was TKR’s chief destroyer with 13 wickets in 11 matches at an economy rate of 6.55.
Hosein, given the responsibility by captain Kieron Pollard to open the bowling several times, told Newsday, “My dad was not well for a while, he had cancer. May Lord rest his soul, but I am sure he is looking down and proud of me. I wish he could’ve been here to see this moment and celebrate with me, but having said that I went out there 100 per cent and I definitely did this victory and this performance for him.”
On winning the title, Hosein said, “Great feeling to be a part of a winning team (and) of a family and also a part of history.”
All 17 players on the TKR squad got the opportunity to play and Hosein felt that added to the team’s bond over the tournament.
“Yeah definitely (it helped). You saw throughout the season some guys had niggles and it was good to see that all hands was on deck and everybody got a piece of the pie because it was so fortunate that these younger guys had to step in and fill the shoes of the senior men who could not play for various reasons.”
The experienced trio of Sunil Narine (kidney stones), Ali Khan (hamstring) and Colin Munro (broken hand) all missed matches giving less experienced team members an opportunity to get a taste of the CPL.
Hosein, opening batsman Tion Webster and fast bowler Jayden Seales all got numerous chances to showcase their potential. Webster scored 147 runs in seven innings at an average of 29.40 and Seales took eight wickets in six matches.
Hosein, 27, opened the bowling in matches alongside his childhood friend Khary Pierre, who is also a left-arm spinner. Pierre, 28, took nine wickets in ten matches at an economy rate of 6.68.
The players both attended Success Laventille Composite School and are both members of Queen’s Park Cricket Club.
“I think these are things that me and Khary have been wishing for for a very long time now and often because we are similar, people think we can’t play (together). At the end of the day there are teams that play two right-hand fast bowlers, there are teams who play many right-hand batsmen and stuff like that, so I don’t see why both of us can’t share the same field if we both doing the same thing and doing well and I think we both feed off each other’s energy as well.”
Describing their friendship, Hosein said they are “basically brothers” or “twins”.
Hosein, a former West Indies Under-19 player, has goals of representing the WI team.
“I try to keep it simple. I said my main goal is to represent West Indies in whatever format. Just try to wear that maroon colour and that’s my aim. Whatever I do I am going to make sure I enjoy it. (I) don’t want to set too much goals to put any sort of pressure on myself.”