Tahir thanks Ashwin for boost of confidence ahead of CPL 2023


Imran Tahir, the captain of the Guyana Amazon Warriors team that clinched its first CPL title on Sunday, has thanked Ravichandran Ashwin for predicting that his team would win the tournament.

Tahir mentioned the India spinner at the post-match presentation after Amazon Warriors’ nine-wicket win over Trinbago Knight Riders.

Among all the others he thanked, Tahir made note of those who had joked about his being appointed captain.

“It’s been a great experience playing for this beautiful franchise and playing for these beautiful people who always come and support us,” Tahir said. “I’m just grateful to the almighty first of all. Coming into the competition, everyone was sending jokes that I had become a captain, so I think actually those things motivated me, so I actually want to thank those people who said that, and I also want to thank my family, all the players’ families, they’ve been on the road with us. It’s been a great journey, very special journey.

“Also want to thank our analyst Prasanna [Agoram] – he’s been working every day, 20 hours a day, and giving me all the plans. I’m really, really grateful to him, and also want to thank Ashwin from India. He said before the competition that we will do it.”

Amazon Warriors topped the league table but endured a setback in the first Qualifier where they lost to Knight Riders. They bounced back thereafter, though, bowling Jamaica Tallawahs out for 101 in the second Qualifier and skittling Knight Riders for 94 in the final.

“I think this year we were more hungry than ever before,” Tahir said.

The joy of victory! Guyana Amazon Warriors players are joined by the team owner Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, President Irfaan Ali, Vice-president Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo and Prime Minister Mark Phillips (Photo: News Room/Shaconeil Burnette/September 24, 2023)

Amazon Warriors had failed to get their hands on the trophy despite making the title round five times in the past. “That’s the thing, I think if you want something really badly, it will happen for you, even though we lost our first Qualifier. Everyone [was talking] about the toss, and we did it in both situations [batting and bowling first], and we won games. The team belief was there.

“Result is never guaranteed, but the way we came back in the competition, and I said one thing before we came here [for the final] – ‘we’ve been the best team in the competition, no one can stop us if we play the brand of cricket we’ve been playing’.”

Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard was disappointed that his team was bowled out so cheaply, but said he was proud of his team for their performance over the course of the season.

“Obviously we didn’t bat properly. Making 94 in the first innings of a final is never going to be enough,” he said. “Am I disappointed with the result? Yes, I’m disappointed with the result, but am not I disappointed with the fellows. No, I thought they played spectacularly well throughout the entire tournament, and you know, we were beaten by the better team today, Guyana, so well played to Guyana. I think they played well, they played consistent cricket throughout the tournament and they’re deserved winners tonight.”

Pollard was particularly impressed that his team reached the final after finishing at the bottom of the table last season.

“Just the belief and the fight [we showed],” he said. “Obviously, finishing sixth in the last tournament, if we’d finished second-to-last, we’d have done better than last year, but having said that, the way how the guys started in the campaign, Trinidad, we were on it, guys were injured, guys fought all the way till the end, and you can’t ask for a better effort from the support staff, from the team-mates, from everybody. So congratulations to them, tough luck on the result, but sometimes in life some people deserve things more than you, and I thought Guyana deserved it tonight.” (ESPNcricinfo)

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