CPL: Captains optimistic of success ahead of Playoffs

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The tournament started with six teams on September 4; four and a half weeks later, it’s down to four.

The four franchises will battle in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Playoffs at the National Stadium, Providence, to see who is made of more, to the reach the final on October 12.

Sunday marks the tournament defining double-header. For Trinbago Knight Riders and St. Kitts Patriots, a loss in the Eliminator would end their campaign, while for Guyana Amazon Warriors or Barbados Tridents in Qualifier One, a win gets them straight to the final and a loss gets them into Qualifier Two to face the winner of the Eliminator.

At the pre-match press briefing on Saturday, all four captains stated that the performances of the preliminary stages are out the window and they will start afresh.

Guyana Amazon Warriors Captain, Shoaib Malik, who led his side to a clean slate- 10 wins from 10- said: “There is no overconfidence in our team, I guess every day is a new day.  What we would have achieved was exceptional, but that is the past. What is coming tomorrow, we are just focusing on that.”

“Everyone has their expectations. If you start thinking about all of that you put extra pressure on yourself. We are already in the Playoffs. This is a new year, a new season. I am one person who does not look too much at the past.”

Barbados Tridents captain, Jason Holder: “It has been a really good tournament. We have had an up and down campaign and tomorrow’s game will be very keenly contested and we are looking forward to the match.”

“We have showing good glimpses of form throughout this campaign and our bowlers have carried us through, while our batting was indifferent. Shakib [Al Hasan] has been a good addition, not just in terms of his performance, but in terms of leadership.”

“Warriors have been playing good cricket, and they have had different persons playing good for them…they are beatable, but you have to play good cricket on the day, we gifted some our matches away and we look forward to dethroning Guyana at home.”

St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots, captain Carlos Brathwaite: “We want to win the title; playing Trinidad who have lost five straight is in the past. For us it not concentrating on their form, but more of ours. Once planning for them we would look at what caused them to lose.”

He added, “I think he [Sunil Narine] will be factor. I know the type of character he is and I am sure he will want to play and help lead his team to success.”

Trinbago Knight Riders captain, Kieron Pollard: “Two teams would have like to be in our position, which is the Playoffs, so we are still in a good position; we have to take the longer route to the final. Once we get a win, we can push to the final.”

Pollard also spoke of the void Narine’s absence has created and they will do a fitness test on Sunday to determine his readiness.

The first Playoff starts at 11:00h and the second at 15:30h.

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