In what was a complete shock to most cricket pundits, the Barbados Tridents defeated the Guyana Amazon Warriors to capture their second Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 title last weekend.
Labelled as underdogs against the previously unbeaten Warriors who had won 11 straight matches, the Tridents saved their best performance for last in registering a 27-run victory against the favourites.
Today, they paraded through the streets of Bridgetown and into Warrens, St Michael and were joined by hundreds of others during a motorcade to celebrate their achievement.
There was music, there was dancing, there were smiles and there was revelry. It was a far cry from how the Tridents were treated and spoken of in the early stages of the competition.
The result was yet another example of just how unpredictable sports can be.
Seldom in any sport does a team jump from finishing last in a competition to winning it within the space of a year.
Even in leagues such as the NBA and NFL where teams with losing records gain significantly through high draft pick where they are able to add the best college players to their respective rosters for the next season, that almost never results in quick success.
Those players take years to develop their talents and usually become game-changers at that point, three or four or five years down the line.
But this Tridents team defied the odds, fittingly with homeboy Jason Holder as captain, to rise like a phoenix after being the worst franchise in the 2018 CPL.
In a dreadful performance last year, the Tridents lost all five of their home games and won just two of their 10 games, to finish dead last on four points.
In fact, dating back to 2017, the Tridents were on a seven-game losing streak at their home ground, Kensington Oval
And when the Tridents lost their eighth straight home game to the struggling Jamaica Tallawahs, which put them in serious jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the second straight year, there was no talk of them lifting the title.
In fact, most predicted the team would miss the playoffs.
All the while, the Warriors were tearing their opponents apart in sensational fashion, never coming close to losing any of their 10 matches in the preliminary stage.
It took a miraculous come-from-behind victory over the St Lucia Zouks in their next game for the Tridents to secure a spot in the final four.
Even then, the doubters still persisted.
It didn’t help their cause when they were soundly beaten by the Warriors in their playoff game, the third such loss against them in the competition.
Long before even qualifying for the playoffs, Barbadians in their numbers were calling for the axing off fellow countryman and off-spinner Ashley Nurse, who was having a forgettable tournament, to put it mildly.
But the skipper boldly made a decision to stick with Nurse and it paid dividends in the end, with Nurse making two match-winning contributions in the final two matches of the tournament.
His performances with both bat and ball silenced the naysayers and lifted the Tridents to one of the most, if not the most improbable title in the CPL’s seven-year history.
In fact, even before that point, the Trident’s management had also come in for some tongue-lashing from Barbadians, who questioned the makeup of the team and its lack of firepower.
Their batting was highly scrutinized and their bowling which was touted as their strength looked ordinary at times.
But despite a poor start, the Tridents came good when it mattered and made every single Barbadian proud with their accomplishment.
It was the perfect example of the popular adage, ‘It’s not how you start, but how you finish’.
There is a lesson to be learnt by all of us from their achievement, in other fields of endeavour.
The post #BTEditorial – Victory to the Tridents and lessons for all of us appeared first on Barbados Today.