The hottest rivalries in the Caribbean League to keep an eye on…
The ninth edition of the Caribbean Premier League began last week and will take place at Warner Park in St Kitts entirely, due the ongoing Covid-19 conditions. This year’s edition will have 50% spectators in all of 33 matches and will conclude on September 15. Here we trace back some of the iconic CPL team rivalries and what makes them special.
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Jamaica Tallawahs v Guyana Amazon Warriors
In the first four seasons of the CPL, Guyana made the final on three occasions. So, you’d think that they would have won at least one of them, right? Think again. They lost all three and on two of those occasions it was Jamaica who beat them, the only two times the Tallawahs won the CPL title.
In 2013 Jamaica reduce Guyana to just 128, which was easily chased. And in 2016 things went even worse for the Amazon Warriors, posting just 93. That Jamaica chased that after just 12.5 overs tells its own story.
Guyana could be a good side this year because their middle-order looks extremely strong. But if they do make the final, Jamaica are the last team they’d want to be facing.
Barbados Royals v Guyana Amazon Warriors
Guyana have famously made five finals and lost all of them. Back in 2014 Barbados posted a very competitive 152 and the Amazon Warriors couldn’t quite chase a Duckworth-Lewis adjusted total, falling eight runs short.
But that was nothing compared to the heartbreak of 20019. Guyana went the whole of the Group Stages unbeaten and then beat the Tridents comfortably in the Qualifier 1.
But the Tridents (now Royals) then won the Qualifier 2 to book their place in the final against …Guyana! And they came good when it mattered, setting them 172 to chase, Guyana not even coming close to chasing it. Having looked like worthy favourites, the curse of the final struck the Warriors once again.
Revenge is definitely in the air, but Guyana have to learn how to master the big moments in the big games.
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St Lucia Kings v Trinbago Knight Riders
When in the 2020 final St Lucia scored a competitive-looking 154 on a tough track, they felt they had a serious chance of winning the game and with it their first-ever CPL title.
But Lendl Simmons had other ideas. Opening the batting for the Trinbago Knight Riders, Simmons scored an unbeaten 84 off 49, including eight fours and four sixes. His savage hitting ripped the confidence and belief out of St Lucia and not only could they not get him out but unsurprisingly, he was also man of the match.
What made it all the worse for St Lucia was that two years before that he had been one of their own, playing for them in 2018. They’ll met again this year and the Kings will be desperate to get him out early, but Trinbago look a far better side who could easily win the whole tournament again. Even if Simmons fails, there are plenty of others around to cause St Lucia more heartbreak.
Trinbago Knight Riders v St Kitts and Nevis Patriots
Over the course of eight seasons Dwayne Bravo was a key member of the brilliant Trinbago Knight Riders side that won four CPL titles, the last of which was in 2020.
But at the end of that season, he was traded to St Kitts. They were pretty happy about that because Dwayne Bravo is after all the first bowler to have gotten to 500 wickets in T20 and 100 in the CPL. So what? The thing is that when he faces Trinbago in 2021 he won’t just be facing his old team-mates, but he’ll also be facing his half-brother Darren Bravo, the talented left-handed middle-order batsman.
Sibling rivalry is nothing new in sport of course and it should make for compelling viewing: Dwayne desperately trying to get his brother out, Darren doing his utmost to smash him around the park.
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…and the last, but not least.
St Kitts and Nevis Patriots v Jamaica Tallawahs
If it’s hard to believe that one player alone can create a bitter rivalry between two teams, then that’s because you may not know the full story of Chris Gayle, 10CRIC’s ambassador.
He played for Jamaica between 2013 and 2016, then played for St Kitts and Nevis for two seasons in 2017 and 2018, only to return to Jamaica for a single season in 2019.
Now he’s back at St Kitts and the match between the two will surely have plenty of fireworks. And we don’t just mean Gayle’s big sixes.
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