THE JAMAICA Tallawahs claimed their third Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title on Friday, with a comfortable eight-wicket win over the Barbados Royals in the final at Providence Stadium, Guyana.
This was the last major T20 franchise tournament before the ICC T20 World Cup, which will be contested this month in Australia.
Here is a look at the main takeaways from the 2022 CPL competition.
TALLAWAHS CAME GOOD WHEN IT MATTERED MOST
With Andre Russell making the switch to the Trinbago Knight Riders, it was felt that his absence would prove disastrous for the Tallawahs. Captain Rovman Powell had a miserable time with the bat in 2020 and 2021, and, on paper, the Tallawahs did not have a "big name" player in their 2022 squad.
However, the Tallawahs came good when it mattered most, during the playoff stage in Guyana, where they defeated the St Lucia Kings (by 33 runs in the eliminator on Tuesday), the Guyana Amazon Warriors (by 37 runs in the second qualifier on Wednesday) and the Royals in the tournament decider.
The Tallawahs had two centurions, both against the Amazon Warriors – Shamarh Brooks (109 not out in the second qualifier) and Brandon King (104 in the preliminary round). Brooks, who was left out of the West Indies World Cup team, finished with 241 runs at an average of 40.16 while King was the tournament's Most Valuable Player with 422 runs at 38.36.
Powell compiled 281 at 35.12, Raymon Reifer made 225 at 28.12 while Imad Wasim (138 runs and 17 wickets) and Fabian Allen (111 runs and 11 wickets) had good all-round performances. Wasim's Pakistan teammate Mohammad Amir was the team's leading wicket-taker with 16.
STAR PLAYERS FROM TKR AND PATRIOTS FLATTER TO DECEIVE
The TKR were champions at home in 2020 and the Patriots followed suit, with the title, on home soil, a year later; both times the tournament was staged in one island due to covid19 restrictions. In the 2022 tournament, neither team showed any form and consistency and they finished in the bottom two spots - the Patriots were fifth with eight points, one more than the TKR.
There was another similarity between both teams, as their star players flattered to deceive, mainly with the bat. For the TKR, captain Kieron Pollard tallied 132 runs, Russell made 119 runs (and took six wickets), WI white-ball captain Nicholas Pooran made 108 runs (including a topscore of 52) while, for the Patriots, the trio of left-handed batsmen Sherfane Rutherford (151), Evin Lewis (133) and Darren Bravo (132) only had one half-century between them.
FEW EMERGING WINDIES PLAYERS ON SHOW
Ramon Simmonds, the Royals left-arm fast medium pace bowler, was named as the Emerging Player of the Tournament; the 20-year-old, who made his First Class debut for Barbados this year, took seven wickets from eight matches at an average of 22.71, but there was barely a handful of players who emerged as candidates for the award.
The 21-year-old Amazon Warriors off-spinner Junior Sinclair was steady with the new ball, especially in Trinidad and in Guyana (his hometown), and he finished with five wickets from eight matches at 27.80. The only other rookie to impress was another 20-year-old Barbadian pace bowler, Matthew Forde, who took four wickets from seven games for the Kings but had an economy rate of 6.48 per over.
CROWD SUPPORT DURING EVENING MATCHES AND PITCHES
Due to the time zone, as well as television rights, especially in India, the West Indies is the only major cricketing nation who play international T20 matches in the daytime. However, it was noticeable that the evening matches (even in the final in Guyana, two days after the host franchise were eliminated), there was a large turnout of fans.
It may be tough for Cricket West Indies to schedule their T20 Internationals at night, particularly against teams from the sub-continent, but may be also tough to showcase the matches in the daytime (here in the Caribbean) with a large number of empty seats.
Throughout the tournament, the television commentary team were high in praise of the pitch curators, who managed to produce wickets which consistently offered assistance to both batsmen and bowlers.