Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) will look to maintain a clean sheet and take their fourth title, while St. Lucia Zouks will be looking to win their first CPL title when the teams clash in the final today at the Brian Lara stadium from 10:00am.
Both teams have earned their berths in the final with comfortable wins with the TKR beating Jamaica Tallawahs by nine wickets and Zouks demolishing the Guyana Warriors by 10 wickets.
Speaking at the press conference held yesterday, both Captains have expressed confidence of winning the title.
TKR skipper Kieron Pollard said that while they have played some good cricket, they have always tried to improve. “So far we have played some good cricket and we always try to improve as a unit. Nothing will stop that tomorrow as at the end of the day we have reached so far and just want to just one more step.”
“We are confident and there is always pressure throughout the tournament, at the end of it I have played in finals and for me it’s just another game, it’s just another day, we have nothing to lose, the four other teams would like to be in this position we are in, so it’s just for us to play consistent cricket. We have guys who have played in finals before and the result will speak for itself, we made some changes and come with a different mentality this year and it has shown on the field, so it’s just a matter to jump that last hurdle and be four time champions.”
Despite being unbeaten, Pollard’s stated that they will not take the Zouks for granted. “They pushed us in the last game but when we are pushed we are able to stand up, we are wary of each and every team.
They come into the final with not much to lose, but having said that I like to play my cricket on the day and plan properly and execute. We have beaten them twice and they know they have that at the back of their minds, but these things come to nothing in this game so it’s a fresh game we are charged up and looking forward to a good clash.”
Pollard is pleased that they were able to give the younger players an opportunity in the tournament. “We have found ourselves in a position where we could have get these guys into the team and given them that sort of exposure because when look at what has transpired over the years in CPL we tend to recycle the older guys because we don’t have another tournament in the Caribbean where we can unearth talent. They have done well, we have the talent on the bench, it’s just a matter of exposure and hopefully we can continue to breed new talent and give sight of what is there on offer in the Caribbean.”
Pollard added while the pitches haven’t been up to standard for batting, the younger players have not adapted mentally. “What I have seen is that the players have not mentally changed their games to suit the conditions and this is something that has affected us not only in CPL but in international cricket as well. We cannot complain about the pitches all the time and we have not changed as individuals. I didn’t see the mental fortitude of the batsmen throughout the tournament in the others teams, in TKR we have tried to adjust to the situation that presented itself. I think it’s the mentality that you go into the game with, so the younger players in the tournament have not shown that they have what it takes at this time to adjust.
If we go to Australia where the pitches bounce a lot will we complain or make excuses? A little bit of adaptability needs to come into play rather than look for the easy way out, yes lack of preparation, but we are fortunate to play cricket at this time and we need a good final,” he posited.
Zouks Captain Daren Sammy said his players are in a good mental space and playing as a unit has helped them. “Coming into a tournament where nobody gives you a chance takes the pressure off you, but I always have the confidence in the players in this competition and we have been effective playing as a unit. We have put in some good performances and that’s why we are in the final. What happen before doesn’t matter, the team that plays better comes out successful and we believe that we can play a good game against TKR.”
“We are confident and we know from the beginning of the tournament that whoever has to win has to go for TKR, you have to beat TKR and that’s what is left to do if we want to win. They have played a really exciting brand of cricket we have that silent confidence in our team, we play well as a unit and believing in ourselves. It’s a very good match up for tomorrow and hopefully in this covid time we could bring out the entertainment that could ease the stress of the Caribbean people.”
Sammy added that they pushed TKR in their previous encounter. “We know we have pushed them and they are wary of the so called unpredictability the Zouks bring, but we know if we did a few more things right we could have beaten them. But you don’t bring any of that into a final; it’s how you play on the day. We will plan and revalue how we could defeat them and it all comes down to the execution. It’s a big final they have some guys who played in finals before but the mentality my team have shown is that we don’t give up until it’s over and I know that could pull us through. I know I have a full team believing that they can go out and play a good brand of cricket tomorrow.”
“All teams have the difficulty with covid, we couldn’t have the original squad and Gayle was out. I always like to give the overseas players a chance and they have done well for us. I am happy that they are here and made a significant impact in the tournament.”
Sammy said that there is a need for local T20 competition. “There should be a Caribbean T20 competition where we can get to see the T20 players, but we don’t have that and you find yourself selecting guys from the four day and one day tournaments which is not ideal. When we had the Caribbean T20 then you see the home grown talent that you could further developed, so in that case you don’t reshuffle guys and we have to look at that in the Caribbean.”
“We have the emerging players’ which is good sign, we have never been short of talent in the Caribbean and it’s just for the people in charge to pinpoint and help develop that.”
Sammy commended CPL for staging the tournament while both Captains said they are looking forward to a good pitch.
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