CPL 2020: Title success is now history, says Holder

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By Akeem Greene

Jason Holder, captain of defending champions Barbados Tridents, has told his troops to put the success of winning last year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League behind them and quickly focus on this season and adapt quickly to the new conditions.

Holder said the atmosphere has been strange and they have only had one practice session, which was marred by a wet outfield.

The League is being played under strict guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all the players and officials are based at the Hilton Hotel for the duration of the tournament.

Thirty-three matches will be played from August 18 to September 10, solely in Trinidad and Tobago.

“We are trying to be mentally attuned, we understand this tournament is a little different from the previous tournaments and more or less we got to be the professionals we can be and make use of the little resources as we possibly can due to the circumstances,” the skipper stated.

Unlike previous years where franchises held their respective camps in home territories, players have had to arrive since August 3 in Trinidad and were restricted to their rooms for seven days as part of quarantine protocols.

Captain Jason Holder said last year’s success is simply history (Photo by Ashley Allen – CPL T20/CPL T20 via Getty Images)

Only recently they were able to train in small groups. After 14 days, franchises are expected to get the go-ahead to fully congregate their players. Some restrictions have been lifted to allow players to visit each other’s rooms and use the facilities at the hotel.

In 2019, Tridents had a topsy-turvy preliminary round, where it looked at one stage they would not qualify for the playoffs, but managed to sneak into second place with 10 points. They were just one point ahead of Trinbago Knight Riders, who had nine and finished fourth in the prelims.

They eventually won the big prize, and now Holder wants the players to go out and execute the plans they will conceptualise this season.

“Last year is history; it was a wonderful time for us and were able to lift the title, but at the end of the day we got a very important task at hand in defending the trophy and we have got a few faces in our team so it’s definitely not the same, and that is both in the management and the players.”

He added, “We got to come together and formulate our plans and when it all boils down after we cross the rope it is about execution.”

Tridents are buoyed by the presence of phenomenal leg-spin talent of Rashid Khan and last season’s leg-spin sensation Hayden Walsh Jr., both of whom Holder expects “big things” from.

The Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba will host 23 games, including the semi-finals and final, and the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain will have 10 matches.

With a rapid turnover in matches, there is the notion that player rotation and pitches deteriorating over the course of the tournament will occur and both are facets the skipper is conscious about.

“Definitely, it is a condense tournament and you got to look at how you manage players. Conditions will definitely change…with the tournament played one place between two grounds, the pitches can become worn so that is another factor… this is also the hurricane season.”

Barbados Tridents Squad: Jason Holder (cpt), Rashid Khan, Corey Anderson, Shamarh Brooks, Mitchell Santner, Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Hayden Walsh Jr, Ashley Nurse, Jonathan Carter, Raymon Reifer, Kyle Mayers, Joshua Bishop, Nyeem Young, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Shayan Jahangir.

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