'Everyone send jokes…': Imran Tahir destroys critics after CPL heroics, thanks R Ashwin in post-match presentation

Sep 25, 2023 09:06 PM IST

Imran Tahir credited the success to his critics, who had joked about him being the captain.

The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2023 came to a close on Sunday with Guyana Amazon Warriors beating Trinbago Knight Riders by nine wickets in the final, which was played at the Providence Stadium in Guyana. It was Guyana's maiden title in the history of the competition as they dished out a clinical show and decimated the Knight Riders in both departments.

R Ashwin and Imran Tahir
R Ashwin and Imran Tahir

Dwaine Pretorius-led the charge for Guyana as he scalped four wickets in his full quota of overs. Apart from the all-rounder, skipper Imran Tahir and Gudakesh Motie made two inroads each to pile more pressure on the opponents, who were all-out for 94 in 18.1 overs after being asked to bat first. The spinners leaked just 15 runs in the eight overs between them. Romario Shepherd and Ronsford Beaton scalped one-wicket each.

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In response, Guyana lost Keemo Paul early in the 95-run chase, following which Shai Hope and opener Saim Ayub ensured there were no further hiccups. The pair added 84 runs for the second wicket as Guyana wrapped the proceedings with six overs to spare.

Tahir, who appeared a bit overwhelmed during the post-match presentation, credited the success to his critics, who had joked about him being the captain. The veteran spinner replaced Shimron Hetmyer as the team's leader.

He also mentioned R Ashwin's name towards the end and thanked the carrom-ball specialist for predicting Guyana to lift the CPL title.

"It's been a great experience playing for this beautiful franchise and playing for these beautiful people who always come and support us," said Tahir.

"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."

Guyana finished as table toppers after the league stages but were rocked by the Knight Riders in the first Qualifier.

They made a solid comeback following the outcome and bowled Jamaica Tallawahs out for 101 in the second Qualifier, before repeating something similar against Knight Riders in the final.

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