The 2022 Caribbean Premier League is in full swing.
Global cricket fans expectantly anticipate this tournament, which offers an exciting short form of the game. In host countries, grounds are full of children, parents, grandparents and budding cricketers hoping to learn from the players.
In Trinidad and Tobago, that expectation is no less, especially when it comes to the home side Trinbago Knight Riders.
The T&T leg which ended last weekend, however, saw another stuttering effort from TKR.
Having split the Queen’s Park Oval matches 1-1, on Saturday night to a packed Brian Lara Stadium, TKR struggled to overhaul a measly 117 set by the Jamaica Tallawahs. The saving grace was that they won the game but what came through loud and clear is that the players seemed to be going through the motions with a mix of bad fielding, poor batting and at times poor bowling. That was certainly the case on Sunday against the St Lucia Kings when they lost by one run going after 147 as the batting collapsed again.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who returned unannounced from Washington, was among the sold-out crowd who left the venue disappointed.
The team lost three early wickets inside the power play—Leonardo Julien, Colin Munro and Nicholas Pooran, who went disgracefully for a duck as his lacklustre season continues. TKR were on the back foot from then, as captain Kieron Pollard failed again to guide from the front and Andre Russell and Sunil Narine’s last over attempt came too late.
This newspaper hopes the team does some soul-searching heading into the Guyana leg of the tournament since they sit in the fourth position with little room for failure if they hope to make the playoffs, Barbados Royals having already booked one of the four automatic spots.
One can only hope that between now and the next game something will change in the attitudes of some of the players to push themselves to win.
We can’t say it better than captain Pollard who summed it up after Sunday’s loss by saying, “We were very indisciplined in the field and that cost us the game.”
Yes, captain Pollard, your team needs to get its act together. What about the pride and spirit that was once TKR’s hallmark? The effort thus far is certainly not what the millions of TKR supporters worldwide have been accustomed to from the four-time champion.
Captain Pollard himself is a stickler for discipline and this is why the team’s effort thus far, let alone his, is so perplexing. To date, Pooran and Russell, two off-season acquisitions who were supposed to strengthen the unit for a return to the CPL pinnacle, are still in arrears to the team. The one steady light thus far has been spinner Akeal Hosein, who is now the backbone of the bowling attack, alongside Narine and Ravi Rampaul, when they come to the party.
Indeed, it is the bowling that has kept them in with a chance for the playoffs, but if they are to make it and not disappoint the fans, especially the T&T faithful who flocked the QPO and BLS for the T&T leg, the batting and overall team spirit must shine through.
Needless to say, we hope TKR achieves a turnaround.