Champions League T20 news October 9, 2012

T&T look to emulate West Indies

While West Indies were recovering from one of their slowest starts in recent memory in the World T20 final, miles away Trinidad & Tobago were battling to put up a decent score themselves.

T&T could not watch the first half of what turned out to be a historic game for West Indies because they were playing a Champions League T20 warm-up match against Auckland in Johannesburg. It was probably a good part of the match to miss and by the time T&T would have settled in front of the televisions they wouldn't have felt too bad about losing by eight wickets because West Indian cricket had achieved something great.

Before the match, David Williams had called the result, down to the method of victory. "When you have guys like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Ravi Rampaul, there is a lot of experience so we just knew that they are going to do well," he said. "They will have to graft hard but they will win this one."

For West Indies, a world event has ended in success but T&T, such a competition is only just beginning. Williams said the CLT20 has a similar importance for players at domestic level as an ICC trophy is to international players. "It's a big thing for us. It's our mini World Cup," Williams said. "This competition is important to all aspects of cricket in West Indies. The guys look forward to this and our regional competition is so hyped up because of this T20 tournament."

Of all countries who have enjoyed success from twenty-over cricket, India could be talked about as the biggest recipients. But of individual cricketers who have benefitted from the format, West Indian names would crop up. Gayle, Pollard and Bravo aside, T20 has given players like Sunil Narine and Kevon Cooper and teams like T&T a stage to show off on.

That's not to say their involvement in the format has been a honeymoon. T&T were close to pulling out of this edition of the CLT20 because of a monetary dispute. When they settled their differences and arrived in South Africa, none of them would admit to the behind-the-scenes issues. Rayad Emrit said he "knew nothing about it," and Williams would not discuss the reported fall-out.

The focus, he said, was simply on qualifying. T&T are used to a tough ride in the tournament. In the year when qualifying was not yet part of it, they were underrated but went on to reach the final. Since the preliminary phase was introduced last year, they are the only team to have come through that, played in the tournament proper and have returned to do it all again.

"We did this last year and we're pretty aware of what it's going to be like," Williams said. "We know it's going to be tough. But we did extremely well in the tournaments in the Caribbean and we played a few extra matches so we are in good stead."

T&T's preparations had to take place without five senior players including captain Denesh Ramdin and premier quick Ravi Rampaul but Williams said that was actually an advantage to the team. "They have been playing T20 cricket over in Sri Lanka so that will be good for us," he said. "Someone like Darren Bravo will have got a lot of experience from there. He is going from strength to strength and is an important member of the team, we're hoping he is going to do well for us."

Rampaul is another player who will be a major factor for T&T in South African conditions. He could keep Shannon Gabriel, another bowler who could be a handful on bouncier tracks. "We've got a lot to choose from," Williams said. "We don't know if Shannon is going to get in, if he does I know he is going to do well. He has been training for a long time and he is fit and ready to go."

More important than individuals will be the team effort as a whole, according to Williams. For that to happen, Williams hope that the World T20 shine will rub off on T&T will have to be proved correct.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 10, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    Yes it is demeaning for T&T to qualify, but power to the money and the IPL has the most. T&T are the caribbean kings of T20, I am hoping that they get invited to some other leagues as well, just as the WICB invites outside teams to bolster the cricket in the West Indies, maybe New Zealand or even Bangladesh. They would definately have something to offer those leagues.

  • Dummy4 on October 10, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    @Villageram Qualifying is demeaning? Team USA has to qualify for basketball at the Olympics.Every football team (Brazil included) must qualify for a world cup. Only issue with qualifying is that It should include EVERYBODY. No one deserves 'special treatment', it defies the purpose and fairness in Sport

  • Herbert on October 10, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    It is very unfortunate that Trinidad & Tobago has to face the demeaning task of having to qualify for this tournament. As the winner of the West Indies T-20 competition and a former runner-up at the same Champion League T-20 it defies logic. Its even more shocking when one considers that the West Indies are a 4-time World Champion in limited overs cricket, having won the 50 over versions in 1975 & 1979 World Cup, the 2004 ICC competition and more recently the 2012 ICC T-20 Tournament, of which over half i.e. 8 out of 15 members were from Trinidad. The problem may reside in the power of the BCCI's role in trying to ensure that the Trinidadian players in their IPL teams remain with them, by creating this additional and uncertain qualifying hurdle. These players, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine having been among their most high-priced commodities and are also members of its Champion teams - de latter having just won the IPL as the Player of the Tournament.

  • Dummy4 on October 10, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    many more satish as ipl take one we got five more in the pipeline, TNT = eat, drink, sleep and most of all DREAM cricket lol Red Force all the way Mandela we are here

  • Dummy4 on October 10, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Gtreat comment Randy Wilson. Love the Caribbean unity!

  • Satish on October 10, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Waiting for TnT to produce another terrific sensation this season. They gave the likes of Bravo, Rampaul, Ganga before CLT20 and then, Pollard, Narine, Cooper to IPL. How many can they keep on producing!! Marvelous talent in a small region. Great bunch of enjoyable characters.

  • Ahmad on October 9, 2012, 23:31 GMT

    TnT is one of our (Barbados) Biggest Rivalry in Domestic Cricket. TnT was the right team to Rep us at CL2012 and I am supporting all the Way. I know they can do it, they are very Good at T20 Cricket. Even with out Narine, Pollard and Bravo ,they can win. people have forgot that Narine wasnt part of TnT who got the first Finals in the CL. But not having Pollard or Bravo could hurt them, yet I still feel they are capable of Winning the cup with this Team. All the Best TnT let continue to make the WI proud.

  • Dummy4 on October 9, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    Trini to the bone.... Have faith fellers

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