Ganga dedicates win to Joey Carew
Trinidad & Tobago's team has returned home to a warm welcome after emerging champions in the Caribbean T20. Their captain Daren Ganga dedicated the victory to former West Indies opener, Joey Carew, who died earlier this month.
"When we heard about the passing of Joey Carew, we felt it was very important to pay respect to a man who changed the face of local cricket," Ganga said. "There's no better way that we could have done it than to give him this send off and dedicate this Caribbean T20 victory to him."
Carew played 19 Tests in a decade-long career that ended in 1972, and also served as a selector for West Indies cricket for 20 years, on and off, retiring from the post in 2006.
T&T were without their two biggest stars, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, for the entire tournament but still came out on top. They caught the imagination with their brand of attacking cricket during their run to the final of the inaugural Champions League in 2009, and Ganga targeted the title this time.
"The journey has now begun. I urge every single supporter of T&T cricket to step forward and ensure that Champions League 2011 is one step better than Champions League 2009. This time around, we're not first-timers."
Two players pivotal to T&T's title win in the Caribbean T20 were batsmen Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo. Simmons was the second-highest run-getter in the tournament, making 249 including three half-centuries to be Player of the Series.
"I am really working hard to get better and better at my game," said Simmons, who has been out of the West Indies side for nearly a year now. "I am more relaxed as a cricketer and I am happy I got some runs under my name. I am now looking forward to the WICB Four Day Tournament. I will be looking to get some more runs in that and some more big performances and get back into the picture."
Darren Bravo was Man of the Match in the final after top scoring with 41, and also starred in a league phase win over Barbados. "I really enjoyed batting in the Caribbean T20," he said. "I was feeling good at the crease and the ball was coming off the bat quite nicely. I have been doing a lot of work on my game and it was really a continuation from the way I started my Test career in Sri Lanka."