Coach of the Amazon Warriors team Roger Harper is disappointed with the way the just-concluded second Limacol Caribbean Premier League final between the Amazon Warriors and the Barbados Tridents ended in St Kitts.
In an exclusive interview with Stabroek Sports, Harper the former West Indies all-rounder said:” I ‘m very disappointed in the game and how it ended.”
The game which was played last Saturday at Warner Park ended in controversial fashion when play was suddenly called off and the Barbados Tridents declared the winners on the Duckworth/Lewis method with the Amazon Warriors needing 46 runs from 25 balls for victory with six wickets in hand.
Rain had intervened with the Warriors 107-4 in 15.1 overs chasing 153 and play was set to restart or so it seemed before inexplicably the Tridents were declared the winners.
“After the third umpire put the bails on, I sent a reserve to find out what was going on and he was waved off by officials so to speak, not given any indication of what was going on,” said Harper.
It was indicated that play was officially expected to resume at 8:40pm. However, a few minutes after the match looked likely to restart, the umpires subsequently declared the Tridents winners by eight runs under the D/L method.
The Amazon Warriors has since protested the outcome and Harper said that matter is being taken care of by the manager of the Amazon Warriors Omar Khan of Trinidad and as such he was unable to shed any light on that situation.
He, however feels that there are lessons to be learnt from this year’s tournament.
“I expect a lot of lessons to be learnt from this years’ finals including possible changes to the playing conditions moving forward,” said Harper.
Harper said he has no malice towards the team in the final but said that cricket officials need to ensure that matches are played fairly.
“I think any team would have taken advantage of anything to exploit the game in favor of their team winning,” he said.
“However, the people in charge of the tournament needed to ensure that the game is played properly.”
Harper says he bears to malice towards the Bajan franchise after their captain and coach refused to take the field after the rain stopped.
“It looked like the Barbados Tridents had a few lucky breaks,” he declared.
Some observers locally and around the Caribbean were appalled that a final of such magnitude in a tournament televised would have three umpires who were from one of the team’s contesting the final officiating.
Speaking of the match, Harper, a former Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) player said:” I thought we conceded at least 15-20 runs more than we should have in the last few overs. Also, we didn’t bat with the poise in which we did before. We just didn’t play with the same confidence we did in the past.”
He admitted that during the final match when they lost in-form opener Martin Guptil early, it put a damper on fellow opener Lendl Simmons who “went into a shell”, while the dismissal of Mohammed Hafeez and Jimmy Neesham were critical as well.
But Harper was of the firm belief that with skipper Denesh Ramdin and Chris Barnwell at the crease both striking over 100.00, the Warriors would have pulled off a comfortable win.
The batting order, he noted, was set in such a manner that Neesham’s role was to take risks while fire-power at the bottom of the order was kept in the event that quick runs were needed.
Being able to reach to the finals of a tournament and lose is disappointing for any team, but reaching to the finals and losing in the manner in which the Amazon Warriors did is even more disappointing.
Despite what transpired in the final, Harper said that though he was not fully satisfied, he nevertheless lauded the team for its hard work.
“Well, you can’t be completely satisfied because you came home empty handed. But we performed consistently and at times we let ourselves down. “Even the games we lost were close but we were taking one game at a time and we were looking to get into the finals in the easiest possible way.
“The loss to Trinidad (Red Steel) was devastating, but we came back well against Barbados in the next match. I think Beaton (Ronsford) came back strongly, however, against Jamaica it was different bowler but the same result”, (referring to the last ball six that was hit off of Beaton by Darren Bravo in the Red Steel/Warriors match, then Neesham bowled that final ball to Tallawahs Andre Russell which was also hit for six).
In closing, Harper said “the fans have been tremendous home and around the Caribbean.