Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard admitted that his team were beaten by the better team in the Republic Bank Caribbean Premier League final on Sunday night.
In the post-match interview following the disappointing loss, Pollard said, “We were beaten by the better team today, so well played to them. They played well, they played consistent cricket throughout the tournament, and they are deserved winners tonight.”
Guyana Amazon Warriors wrote their names in the history books after claiming their first-ever Caribbean Premier League title, when they crushed Trinbago Knight Riders by nine wickets at Providence Stadium in Guyana.
It was the hosts’ sixth appearance in the CPL final.
Pollard’s praises for the winners continued, “Congratulations to them, they had to endure going through the longer way to get to the final. They held their nerves and the way they played against Jamaica (in qualifier two), and they came into the final the better team. The fans came out and supported them.”
Commenting on TKR’s dismal showing after being inserted to bat, Pollard said, “Obviously we didn’t bat properly, making 94 runs in the first innings of a final was never going to be enough. Am I disappointed with the result? Yes, but the fellas played spectacularly well throughout the entire tournament.”
He said several players were injured but fought for their team despite the limitations.
Pollard applauded the efforts of the support staff, the team and everyone who were part of their 2023 campaign. He specially mentioned the TKR fans who travelled all around the Caribbean supporting them. He added, “We are still the four-time champions, and we still have a lot of champions in the dressing room.” He then hinted that TKR will return next year even stronger.
An overly emotional Amazon Warriors captain Imran Tahir said, “It has been beautiful playing for this franchise and the beautiful people who have come to support us. I`m just really grateful to the Almighty. Coming into the competition, everyone has been sending jokes that I became the captain, so I think those things motivated me, so I want to thank the people who said that. It has been a great journey.
The 44-year-old leg-spinner confessed, “This is one of the greatest achievements I have, obviously this is very special to me and playing in the CPL for the last six years, I want to thank CPL.” He explained that the difference between this year and previous years were the hunger of the players to win and they stuck to playing their brand of cricket throughout the tournament.
Amazon Warriors star batsman Shai Hope captured the awards for Player of the Tournament and Most Runs after scoring 481 runs at an average of 53.44.
The Barbadian described what winning the title meant to him, “It means everything. I made a promise to our analyst at the start of the tournament. We had one focus – one goal. I wanted to take responsibility as a batter and make sure I win games for the team. I hope that I continue this vein and keep scoring runs for whatever team I play for.” He also thanked the fans for their much-needed support.
Former South African all-rounder and Amazon Warriors head coach Lance Klusener was elated on his team`s victory. He said, “It’s unbelievable! We worked six weeks for this and I`m really glad for the boys that it came together, but this whole week we have been playing for those people out there (supporters). All credit to the way we batted, and we kept on taking wickets and slowed the run rate when we bowled, just an all-round performance.”