Except the likes of Larry Gomes and Gus Logie,Trinidad and Tobagos contribution to the legendary West Indian team of the 1970s and 80s was limited. The real heavyweights during that era came from Jamaica,Antigua or Barbados. And it would be safe to say,that Gomes arrival at the batting crease was probably the best time to make a cup of tea considering you wouldnt dare leave your seat when Greenidge,Haynes and Richards were batting.
Then came Brian Lara. The advent of T20 cricket though has seen Trinidad rise above all in the Caribbean. If anything its presently the breeding ground for world champions with eight of the 15-member West Indian squad that lifted the World T20 crown hailing from T&T.
Starting with Darren Gangas motley crew in 2009 to Denesh Ramdins formidable bunch,which has hardly seemed to miss Bravo and Pollard,the Trinis have cracked the code of consistency in the otherwise fickle world of T20. The likes of Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo to Sunil Narine,Ravi Rampaul and Kevon Cooper,all of whom have gone on to become superstars of the shortest format.
The side also has an ideal T20 XI. Attacking openers,a couple of steady operators in the middle and an array of explosive finishers. The bowling meanwhile has depended on a couple of spinners,capable of parsimony and wicket-taking,aided by the incisiveness of Ravi Rampaul.
Saturday could well see the end of one of the most entertaining chapters of the CLT20s nascent history. This is the final weekend for Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) in CLT20 land. Whatever happens,the only non-IPL team in the semifinals will board their flight home on Monday never to return under the same banner.
The Red Force might be done with but Trinidad might be back again to these parts but they will be represented by the Red Steel,a CPL franchise. It will only be apt that Brian Lara will be present to bid farewell to T&T in Delhi. The greatest pride of Trinidad alongside the outfit that has given the island much-vaunted bragging rights across the Caribbean.
(Bharat is a principal correspondent based in Mumbai.) email@example.com