Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz have been drawn in Group C of the CONCACAF Gold Cup where they will face Costa Rica, Suriname, and the winner of preliminary round 8.

The Group Stage of the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup will kick off on July 10, 2021. The 12 Concacaf national teams, which qualified directly through their performances in the Concacaf Nations League group stage, the guest participant, AFC Asian Cup Champions Qatar, and the three Prelims winners have been divided into four groups.

Group A will feature Mexico, El Salvador, Curacao, and the winner of preliminary 9.  Group B will consist of the USA, Canada, Martinique, and the winner of preliminary 7.  In Group D Honduras, Panama, Grenada, and Qatar will compete to advance.

The competition will begin on July 2, 2021, with the Preliminary Round, which will include12 Concacaf Member Associations competing for the final three spots in the 16-team Group Stage. For the two-round Prelims, the participating national teams have been divided into six matchups.  The games are listed below. 

Round One

Matchup #1: Haiti vs St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Matchup #2: Guatemala vs Guyana

Matchup #3: Trinidad and Tobago vs Monserrat

Matchup #4: Cuba vs French Guiana

Matchup #5: Guadeloupe vs the Bahamas

Matchup #6: Bermuda vs Barbados

Round Two

Matchup #7: Winner Matchup #1 vs Winner Matchup #6

Matchup #8: Winner Matchup #2 vs Winner Matchup #5

Matchup #9: Winner Matchup #3 vs Winner Matchup #4

The embattled Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) William Wallace-led executive has sought permission to reverse the withdrawal of proceedings, in the case brought against FIFA, currently before the T&T High Court.

Earlier this week, a TTFA membership meeting that was held saw its membership unofficially vote to cease the TTFA action against FIFA in the court.  Wallace and his executive reluctantly agreed, and action was taken to withdraw the suit before the court on Wednesday.  The body, however, missed the deadline to withdraw the lawsuit by two minutes and were as a result suspended by FIFA.

Originally, the TFFA had been given until September 16 to withdraw the action, but FIFA had given a further extension until the 23rd

In explaining its reasons for choosing to suspend the TTFA, FIFA on Thursday said “The suspension was prompted by the former leadership of the TTFA lodging a claim before (the TT High Court) in order to contest the decision of the FIFA Council to appoint a normalisation committee for the TTFA. This course of action was in direct breach of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly prohibits recourse to ordinary courts unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations.”

According to Keith Look Loy, a former member of Wallaces' TTFA executive, the reason for returning the case to the court is in order to challenge the FIFA suspension at the CAS.

 “We filed an injunction at the CAS against the suspension. But to ensure we had legal standing to do so, we had to have a legal matter before the local courts. Had the case been withdrawn from the court, there would be no legal standing in the local high court,” Look Loy told the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday.

“There would be no legal standing because they have no case before the court, which means they have accepted FIFA’s imposition of the normalisation committee. We do not accept this and thus had to withdraw the withdrawal application to file such an injunction against FIFA.”

Following the avalanche of blame that has tumbled on embattled TTFA president William Wallace, in light of FIFA’s ruling to suspend Trinidad and Tobago from world football indefinitely, former national footballer, David Nakhid, insists there are multiple ‘villains’ involved in the case.

Nakhid was quick to point out that he has no sympathy for Wallace because the deposed official “did several things subsequent to his appointment without consulting the board.”

 “A situation like this calls for compromise, it calls for mediation, it calls for some level of consultation between parties and we never had that,” Nakhid said in an interview with the SportsMax Zone.

“What we had was a lot of hotspot meetings and disjointed efforts by parties here and parties there,” he added.  In the mind of the former Soca Warriors captain, however, Wallace was far from the only one deserving of criticism. 

As such, he also turned his attention to the world governing body FIFA, for whom he had some particularly strong words.  He accused the global football organisation of being ‘hypocrites’ and seeing the Caribbean region as just part of a voting bloc and not much else.

“FIFA has always been an organisation that has the Caribbean and by extension Latin America as just a voting bloc.  Basically, we are still indentured labourers to them," he said.

The former Caribbean Footballer of the Year was also critical of leaders of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU), past and present, who he accused of leaving no legacy for the Caribbean and ensuring that the region did not have a genuine voice on the world stage.

 Nakhid launched a longshot bid for the FIFA presidency in 2015 but was disqualified from the race after receiving a double nomination.  At the time, his proposed candidacy never received wide support across the Caribbean, garnering a total of five votes.

On Thursday, FIFA suspended the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) for its failure to withdraw a case that is currently before the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago, within the prescribed timeframe that came after a previous extension.  The ruling will see the twin-island republic immediately deprived of all its rights as a member of FIFA, which comes with other consequences.

Trinidad and Tobago could be replaced by Antigua and Barbuda for next year's CONCACAF Gold Cup but, for now, remains a part of the competition’s official draw, scheduled for Monday.

On Thursday, FIFA announced the suspension of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) from all forms of international football, following its failure to withdraw a case that was before the T&T High Court, within the prescribed deadline.

As a result, T&T has had its membership privileges revoked and as such cannot compete in any tournaments.  With the terms of the suspension hanging on just three conditions, however, the country could well rectify the situation and be reinstated before the start of the tournament next year.

In addressing the issue, Concacaf revealed it had decided, after an emergency meeting, that T&T would be included in the draw on Monday and remain a part of the competition until 5:00 pm ET on December 18, 2020.  If the suspension has not been lifted by that time, Antigua and Barbuda, as the next highest-ranked team based on their 2019 Concacaf Nations League performance, will take their place.

Trinidad and Tobago remains among 12 teams set to compete in a preliminary round competition from July 2-6, 2021 prior to the start of next year’s tournament.

Former Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Sports Anil Roberts has lamented what he classifies to be a cause that was destined to be ‘a losing battle’ in wake of FIFA’s recent suspension of the TTFA from world football.

FIFA and the TTFA have been locked in a bitter dispute since March of this year, when the global football governing body appointed a normalisation committee to take over the affairs of the nation’s football, after dissolving the board.  The then four-month-old William Wallace-led executive rejected the move and refused to recognize the committee, framing the actions as an infringement on the country’s sovereignty.

In its letter, however, FIFA pointed to article 8 paragraph 2 of the FIFA Statutes, as giving them the right to appoint a normalisation committee.  The Wallace-led coalition then opted to take the case to the CAS before having issues with the cost of presenting the case and suggesting any ruling would have been biased towards FIFA.  The body instead opted to take the case before the Trinidad and Tobago High Court, a move also prohibited by the FIFA statutes.  In announcing the decision to suspend Trinidad and Tobago from international football on Thursday, FIFA pointed to violations of article 59, which states that;

“Recourse to ordinary courts of law is prohibited unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations. Recourse to ordinary courts of law for all types of provisional measures is also prohibited.”

According to Roberts, even if one were to submit to the fact that every argument made by the ousted TTFA officials were correct, they ignored a certain reality.

“There was no other outcome.  So, let us pretend that the TTFA was absolutely right.  Every argument they made, FIFA was being high handed, their decisions were wrong, they were using their power to suppress and oppress Trinidad and Tobago and its organisation.  Every argument was correct.  You still could not win, because the idea is you want to play football and FIFA controls football,” Roberts said in an exclusive interview with the SportsMax Zone.

Since 2003, FIFA has suspended around 24 countries for various disputes and violations of its statutes.  Antigua and Barbuda are the only other Caribbean country suspended during the period.

“We must be realistic in the world we live in.  In the world of sport, whether we like it or not, FIFA owns football.  Anyone who does not understand that is naive or would like to fight a war that cannot be won,” Roberts added.

“FIFA owns football.  Everything we want as a country, as a territory, they control.  Whether it is through their World Cup male and female tournaments or their junior age-group World Cups.  Whether its through their ability to control club football, world club football, Champions League, CONCACAF Gold Cup, opportunities for our young players to get contracts…So this was a losing war from the onset.”

 

  

The standoff between FIFA and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association  (TTFA) ended with the Caribbean country joining a long list of others suspended after various disputes with their parent association.

Oftentimes, the reasons nations find themselves blacklisted by the sport’s global governing body are many and varied, but the outcome is often the same.

The twin-island republic becomes the second Caribbean nation suspended by FIFA, following in the footsteps of Antigua and Barbuda who were banned in 2003 for one year, after infighting broke out within the association.

In each case, the length of suspension dished out to the associations varies widely, with the ball often in the member association court as to how long it takes to rectify the affair that has caused them to fall afoul of FIFA’s statues in the first place.  The list below features 24 countries that have been suspended in the last 17 years and some of the reasons provided.

 

List of country’s suspended

 

Country - Azerbaijan

Date - 15 April 2003 - 23 May 2003

Reason - External pressure, violations of

fundamental principles

Outcome - Parties agreed to respect a FIFA

moderated agreement

 

Country - Antigua and

Barbuda

Date - 20 May 2003 - 29 June 2005

Reason - Non-specified

Outcome- Suspension lifted after situation

had improved

 

Country - Guatemala

Date - 9 Jan. 2004 - 17 May 2004

Reason - Governmental interference: FA and

elected FA officials replaced

Outcome - Re-installment of elected FA

leadership, recognition of FAs’

competencies

 

Country - Kenya

Date - 2 June 2004 - 6 Aug. 2004

Reason - Governmental interference: FA

officials replaced due to

mismanagement and fraud

Outcome - Installment of a normalization

committee to improve

transparency and accountability

 

Country – Macau

Date - 15 Feb. 2005 - 6 March 2005

Reason - Governmental interference:

Non-specified

Outcome - Suspension lifted after

negotiations

 

Country -Yemen

Date -12 Aug. 2005 - 9 Nov. 2005

Reason - Governmental interference:

Non-specified

Outcome - Suspension lifted after concessions

by the government

 

Country - Greece

Date - 3 July 2006 - 12 July 2006

Reason - Governmental interference: National

legislation granting professional

league independence from FA

was not revoked

Outcome - Legislation amended according to

FIFA’s demands

 

Country - Kenya

Date - 25 Oct. 2006 - 9 March 2007

Reason - Governmental interference:

Non-implementation of

agreements, escalation of

internal conflicts

Outcome - Government agrees to abstain

from further intervention, legal

proceedings are withdrawn,

reinstallation of elected officials

 

Country – Iran

Date- 23 Nov. 2006 - 20 Dec. 2006

Reason - Governmental interference:

Non-independence of

decision-making and election

processes

Outcome - Implementation of FIFA’s

demands

 

Country - Kuwait

Date - 29 Oct. 2007 - 20 Dec. 2008

Reason - Governmental interference: FA

officials replaced

Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

after new elections are

announced, reinstallation of

FIFA’s transition committee,

amendment of FA’s statutes

 

Country - Albania

Date -14 March 2008 - 26 April 2008

Reason - Governmental interference:

Government initiated legal

proceedings against new FA

statutes

Outcome - Legal proceedings stopped,

creation of a working-group

 

Country - Madagascar

Date - 19 March 2008 - 19 May 2008 Governmental interference:

Ministerial decree dissolved FA

Outcome - Madagascan Supreme Court

declared decree null and void,

re-installment of FA

 

Country - Chad

Date - 28 March 2008 - 7 May 2008

Reason - Governmental interference:

Government replaced FA

officials and intended to hold

new elections

Outcome - Decree revoked, reinstallation of

elected FA officials

 

Country - Iraq

Date - 26 May 2008 - 29 May 2008

Reason - Governmental interference:

Governmental decree dissolved

all sport organizations

Outcome - Exclusion of FA from dissolution

decree

 

Country – Ethiopia

Date - 29 July 2008 – July 22 2009

Reason - Governmental interference:

Dismissal of elected officials,

non-compliance with FIFA

roadmap

Outcome - New leaders elected for the country's soccer federation.

 

Country – Samoa

Date - 24 Oct. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

Reason -Repeated management problems

Outcome - Resolved

 

Country - Peru

Date - 25 Nov. 2008 - 20 Dec. 2008

Reason -Governmental interference:

Non-specified

Outcome- Resolved

 

Country - Brunei Darussalam

Date -29 Sept. 2009 - 1 June 2011 Governmental interference:

Dissolution of FA and creation

of new government-controlled

body

Outcome - FIFA’s conditions fulfilled and

statues amended according to

FIFA Statutes

 

Country - Iraq

Date - 20 Nov. 2009 - 19 March 2010

Reason - Governmental interference: Government

controlled NOC dissolved FA

Outcome - Dissolution of FA withdrawn

 

Country - El Salvador

Date - 11 May 2010 - 27 May 2010

Reason - Governmental interference: Government

did not accept FIFA’s normalization

committee and new FA statutes

Outcome - Legitimacy of normalization

committee and new statutes

recognized

 

Country – Nigeria

Date - 4 Oct. 2010 - 8 Oct. 2010

Reason - Governmental interference: Court actions

against FA officials, government

forced resignation of officials,

government started league without

relegation from previous season

Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

after claimant withdrew legal

actions and FA leadership and

FA control over league were

reinstalled

 

Country – Bosnia

Date -1 April 2011 1 - Jun 2011

 Reason - Mismanagement due to ethnic

divisions

Outcome - FA statutes amended according to

FIFA’s demands

 

Country - Belize

17 June 2011 7- July 2011

Reason - Failure of government to provide

security for national team matches

Outcome - Suspension provisionally lifted

due to positive developments,

match played outside Belize

 

Country – Cameroon

Date - 4 July 2013 - 22 July 2013

Reason - Governmental interference: Government refused to accept results of FA

elections

Outcome - New elections organized, finally

reinstallation of elected FA officials

 

Country – Nigeria  

Jul 9, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014

Reason – Government interference:

Court proceedings and an order preventing the president of the NFF, the NFF executive committee members, and the NFF Congress from running the affairs of Nigerian football

Outcome – Orders rescinded

 

Country – Kuwait

Date - Oct 16, 2015 - Dec 6, 2017

Reason – Government interference

Outcome – Gulf state's parliament adopted a law meant to end government interference in the sport.

 

Country - Guatemala

Date – Oct 28, 2016 - May 31, 2018

Reason – Government interference: Local authorities had intervened with Normalisation Committee

Outcome – Normalisation Committee recognized

 

Country - Sierra Leone

Date - Oct 5, 2018 - Jun 3, 2019

Reason - Government interference.

Third-party interference in the running of the country's FA.

Outcome – Resolved

 

Country – Trinidad and Tobago

Date – September 24, 2020 – Unknown

Reason – Refusal to acknowledge normalisation committee by the previous board.  Issue was taken to High Court.

Outcome - Unknown

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) has been suspended indefinitely by FIFA, after its failure to comply with a request to withdraw a legal case against the global football body currently before the courts of Trinidad and Tobago.

The case was brought before the High Court of Trinidad and Tobago by former TTFA president William Wallace and other deposed executives.  The members had taken umbrage with FIFA’s disbanding of the then four-month-old administration and its installation of a normalisation committee to take over the country’s football affairs.

According to a letter issued by FIFA on Thursday, however, the actions were in direct violation of article 59 of the FIFA Statutes and that the issue had been recommended by the Bureau of the Council, who took action.

“The Bureau took note that this course of action breached art. 59 of the FIFA Statutes, which expressly stipulates the prohibition on recourse to ordinary courts of law unless specifically provided for in the FIFA regulations,” the letter read.

“Additionally, the Bureau was informed that the institution and maintenance of those proceedings by these individuals, purporting to act in the name of the TTFA, in complete disregard for the FIFA Statutes threatens the stability of the structure of football governance, both in Trinidad and Tobago and globally.”

The letter also pointed out that FIFA had given the TTFA until September 16, to withdraw the case before the court and subsequently given a final deadline of September 23 at 3:00 pm, which was also not met.

As a result of the suspension, the TTFA will be deprived of its rights as a member, which means that neither its clubs nor national teams will be allowed to compete in any international competitions.  Funding for development programs will also immediately be cut.

The letter gave three conditions under which the renegade body would be re-admitted to global football.

  1. The TTFA complies with the terms and conditions of its membership of FIFA as set out under the FIFA Statutes, including in particular Article 59 of the FIFA Statutes;
  2. The TTFA acknowledges and confirms FIFA’s power and authority to appoint a Normalisation Committee subject only to the right of the TTFA to appeal such a decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport;
  3. The TTFA Statutes are amended to ensure that all type of disputes may only be submitted to the established dispute resolution forum at CAS.

The suspension will immediately impact the country’s participation in the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Lawyers representing United TTFA have applied to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court of Justice seeking permission to withdraw the claims currently before the court regarding their six-month dispute with FIFA.

The move brings to an end William Wallace's case against FIFA in a bid to avoid being suspended from world football by the sports governing body.

The development comes, sources indicate, after there was majority vote against proceeding with the matter before the court, during an informal meeting of the TTFA on Tuesday night. Twenty-one members voted against pursuing the proceedings against FIFA, sources said. Eight voted in favour.

On May 18, lawyers for the William-Wallace executive had filed an application in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court seeking a permanent injunction to prevent FIFA from interfering or seeking to override the “fair and transparent democratic processes of the TTFA and/or preventing them from removing the executive of duly elected officers from office.”

FIFA filed an appeal that was thrown out by Madame Justice Carol Gobin.

In response, FIFA sent letters to the Normalisation Committee currently in charge of the affairs of the TTFA strongly suggesting that the claims be withdrawn.

Failure to do so by September 23, FIFA said, would result in them initiating proceedings to have the TTFA suspended from international football.

FIFA has extended its deadline for the TTFA to withdraw all claims against them currently before the Trinidad and Tobago Supreme Court.

Former CONCACAF president Jack Warner has left the hospital and now in quarantine as he continues to recover from infection with the coronavirus.

The 77-year-old former football official turned politician, confirmed in a statement that he had been released from the Couva Hospital on Sunday.

Warner was rushed to the hospital two weeks ago, after testing positive for the disease and experiencing some of the symptoms.  Warner, who had a tough time battling the disease, reflected that he would not have inflicted it on his worst enemy.

“This was not a good road trip and I will be following the medical guidelines to the dot and to the tittle not simply because it is my social and legal responsibility to do so but because the discomfort, the isolation, and the pain that one goes through is not an experience that anyone will wish for another,” the release read.

The former FIFA vice president said that he intended to spend his recovery out of the limelight and that he was thankful to God.

“During my period of recovery, I will remain in the shadows away from media contact and this is not because of any disrespect to this profession to which I have grown to love but rather to allow me to recover undisturbed; I would truly wish that my request for silence during this period is respected,” he said.

“Let me, first of all, thank God for this second chance and for His mercy in allowing me to unite with my family and also once again to thank my family and friends for being my source of comfort and strength along this journey and for their prayers for healing which ascended to the throne of grace and my behalf.”

A difficult battle with the coronavirus has left former Concacaf boss Jack Warner in a repentant mood, insisting he would not wish the affliction on his worst enemy.

The 77-year- old former football administration turned politician, contracted the virus two weeks ago, and has been in the hospital since.  Warner is, however, reportedly in good spirits at the Couva hospital and took the time out to thank all who have wished him well for their continued support.

At one point rumous had surfaced that the politician was gravely ill and had even succumbed to the virus.

“The outpouring of love and concern by people from all walks of life really caught me by surprise and for that, I wish to say a special thanks for the caring of which I am still the recipient,” Warner said in a recent post.

“One friend text me to say “any energy you needlessly expend is directing that energy away from your healing” so I spend my days praying, seeking God’s forgiveness to those I may have wronged and living with the hope that very soon this COVID-19 will pass not only for me but for the many who continue to suffer locally and abroad.”

Warner also warned citizens to continue to be vigilant and follow the guidelines of the government.  The former member of parliament still faces extradition to the United States, where he is expected to face corruption charges related to his time in football.  

St Lucia Zouks Captain Darren Sammy said his team fell several runs short of what was required to achieve victory against the Trinbago Knight Riders in today’s final of the 2020 Hero CPL.

Kieron Pollard believes the Trinbago Knight Riders were destined to win their fourth Hero CPL title this season.

 

Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo ensured Trinbago Knight Riders completed the first perfect season in franchise T20 history with an unbroken partnership of 138 off 88 balls, the highest of Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 and the highest ever in a final. The St Lucia Zouks put up what seemed a competitive total, but ultimately a loss of 7/39 off the last 32 balls of their innings cost them dearly against this history-making Knight Riders squad. 

Rakheem Cornwall swept Akeal Hosein for four but was lucky to edge over DJ Bravo at slip. Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard gave the second over to Ali Khan, and Ali responded by flattening Cornwall’s middle stump. Andre Fletcher clipped fine for four, the Zouks thus closing the second over at 16/1.

 Mark Deyal slog-swept Hosein for two fours, and Fletcher was aggressive against Sikandar Raza, taking him over cover and long-on for Hero Maximums then cutting for four. Khary Pierre went for just five, but Fletcher twice smoked Ali through cover for four and the Zouks motored to 60/1 off the Powerplay.

 Deyal lofted Pierre over cover for four and launched Pollard for six, but struggled to combat Fawad Ahmed’s googly and edged to DJ Bravo at slip. Hosein returned with a tight over, and at halfway the Knight Riders had slowed the Zouks to 79/2.

Roston Chase clipped through midwicket for four early in Fawad’s second over, which went for 10, but Fletcher’s assault ended as he aimed Pollard down the ground but found only Darren Bravo at long-off. Najibullah Zadran slashed his first ball for four, and the over went for seven to leave the Zouks in need of a partnership at 79/3 off 12 overs.

While Chase slog-swept the last ball of Pierre’s over for a Hero Maximum, he and Mohammad Nabi fell within four balls, the former chipping a Pollard cutter to deep-mid on and the latter clubbing Fawad to long-off. Zouks captain Daren Sammy smashed his second ball for a Hero Maximum, and after 15 overs the Zouks were 123/5.

Despite a Najibullah four, Ali’s return over went for just six, and Sammy should have fallen to Hosein but Ali badly misjudged the catch. Najibullah flicked Hosein for a delightful Hero Maximum over cover, but Hosein recovered to dismiss Sammy LBW. After 17 overs, the Zouks were 138/6.

 DJ Bravo was unable to bowl, and so Pollard had to step up at the death and did so admirably, picking up two wickets with his off-cutter. First Javelle Glenn looped to backward point, then Najibullah failed to clear Raza at deep backward square off another cutter. Kesrick Williams was run out, Ali Khan bowled Zahir Khan with a perfect yorker, and the Knight Riders had bowled the Zouks out for a decent rather than dominant total.

 Simmons pulled Scott Kuggeleijn for four first ball of the chase, becoming Hero CPL’s all-time leading run-scorer in doing so. Webster swept Nabi for four but then top-edged off Chase, Williams taking a fine catch. After three overs, the Knight Riders were 14/1.


Tim Seifert got off the mark with a four off Kuggeleijn but fell edging behind next ball. Darren Bravo too got off the mark with a boundary, a glorious lofted Hero Maximum over long-on off Chase, and Simmons took fours straight, fine down the leg side and backward of point off Williams’ first over to close the Powerplay with the Knight Riders 40/2.

Chase and Nabi put the pressure on, going for just five between them, and Simmons and Bravo both struggled against Zahir. When Simmons did take on the big shot though he nailed it over the fence, and at halfway the Knight Riders were 59/2 and needed 96 more to win.

Sammy brought himself on and bowled five good deliveries, but Bravo smashed the sixth for a Hero Maximum, and Simmons pulled Williams for a six then cut him for four, becoming Hero CPL 2020’s leading run-scorer and bringing up his 50 off just 31 balls. Bravo though continued to struggle against Chase, who closed out a superb spell.

 After 13 overs, Bravo was just 23 off 32 balls, and the Knight Riders needed almost 10 an over, but he eased both of those equations somewhat with two Hero Maximums off Glenn. Williams’s third over went for nine thanks to two wides and a loose short ball, and the Knight Riders entered the last five overs needing 45 with eight wickets still in hand.

Kuggeleijn managed to go for just four off the 16th despite starting with a wide, but Simmons targeted Zahir, taking him for four off the first and six off the second. Bravo added two big Hero Maximums, the second bringing up his 50 off 45 balls. Suddenly, the Knight Riders needed just 18.

Simmons was not going to hang around now, walloping Kuggeleijn for a Hero Maximum over midwicket then clubbing him over cover and slicing him through third man for two fours. The winning runs came off an inside edge, but there was now no denying the Knight Riders’ domination of Hero CPL 2020.


All season, the Knight Riders had absorbed the loss of key personnel - Colin Munro fractured his hand, Ali Khan missed games, Narine had kidney stones removed and was unable to play the final with a knee injury. But perhaps the 12th and final win is the greatest measure of how great a squad Pollard and Brendon McCullum have built - victory was achieved two wickets down, with 11 balls to spare, without DJ Bravo bowling or Pollard batting. The Knight Riders had come together in the bubble and emerged from it to achieve something truly monumental.

Summary (Trinbago Knight Riders 157/2 (Simmons 84*, DM Bravo 58*; Chase 1/13, Kuggeleijn 1/30) beat St Lucia Zouks 154 all out (Fletcher 39, Deyal 29, Najibullah 24, Chase 22; Pollard 4/30, Fawad 2/22, Ali Khan 2/25, Hosein 1/26) by 8 wickets)

 

Ever the inspirational leader, St Lucia Zouks Captain Darren Sammy believes his team has as good a chance to win the 2020 Hero CPL title on Thursday even though they would have to defeat the unbeaten Trinbago Knight Riders to do so.

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