Barbados Tridents skipper Jason Holder may have inadvertently given Trinidad and Tobago-born coach Phil Simmons a great endorsement for the West Indies job during the team’s Hero Caribbean Premier League title celebrations at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy on Saturday night.
Speaking during the award ceremony after his team beat the Guyana Amazon Warriors by 27 runs to lift their second CPL title, Holder credited Simmons, a former West Indies all-rounder, for the team’s success.
“Simmons is outstanding. I really enjoy working with him. I see him like a father,” Holder said. (See page A40)
“The team is exceptional. We all sit together and talk cricket. Hard to single out people—(Harry) Gurney was exceptional, JP (Duminy) was outstanding, (Ahsley) Nurse, (Raymon) Reifer special performances. I’m really happy for Hayden Walsh Jr.
“I want to say special congrats to Shoaib (Malik) and Johan Botha, they had an outstanding season, but tonight, we deserved to win. Thanks to Trinidad crowd for coming us to support despite us beating their team in the qualifier. Hopefully, next year will be bigger and better.”
Speaking about the team’s victory over the previously unbeaten Warriors, who had a run of 11 straight wins heading into the final, he said, “We had belief. Credit must go to every player. Coaching staff excellent. (Jonathan) Carter was exceptional. In the first qualifier, I told him to express himself. He was under scrutiny and he showed that he can go deeper with his cricketing skills.”
Carter won the Player of the Match title, as his unbeaten 50 steered the Tridents to what proved to a winning 171 for six target which the Warriors could not reach. Carter too may have given Simmons his vote for the Windies job during his award ceremony contribution.
“This is a very proud moment,” he said.
“When you have a friend and captain like Jason, he gives you the all-clear to do what you have to do. Him and coach Simmons have been inspirational. Thank you Jase, thank you Phil.”
Simmons is one of three coaches who are in the final shortlist for the West Indies coaching job. The others are former legendary West Indies opener Desmond Haynes and Floyd Reifer, who was the team’s interim coach during the ICC World Cup earlier this year.
Hayden Walsh Jr, who finished as the leading CPL wicket-taker with a haul of 22, was in tears as he was also named Player of the Season. He thanked his teammates and paid tribute to his father Hayden Walsh, who died of a heart attack in 2010.
“I have no words right now. Worked hard and I need to thank the Almighty for bringing me this far. I’ve been working for years. I’ve been getting tips all over but this has finally paid off. Everything goes to my (late) father. I think about him every day.”
Amazon Warriors skipper Shoaib Malik was gracious in defeat, his side’s fifth in as many trips to the CPL final.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Barbados Tridents, especially later in the tournament. Second of all, we missed the trick after ten overs when we were 79 for 3. We missed the trick of not rotating the strike,” Malik said.
“Next year maybe. I would say Carter’s innings and Nurse’s partnership with him was very crucial. In the last overs, momentum went to their side. When someone like King is in form, we had high expectations from him, but as I said before, we missed the trick around the 10-over mark. Want to say thanks to the crowd. Without you, we all are nothing. Want to thank my team-mates. We fought very hard. We know it’s disappointing but tomorrow is a new day. Go well guys.”