Guyana Amazon Warriors Imran Tahir said criticism of his appointment as captain helped inspire him to achieve success in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League.
The 43-year-old South African oversaw Amazon Warriors’ first ever capture of the regional T20 title, when he led them to a crushing nine-wicket win over four-time champions Trinbago Knight Riders in the final at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence.
Amazon Warriors had been unsuccessful in five previous trips to the final.
“A lot of people said a lot of negative things before I came. Coming into the competition, I think everyone [was] sending jokes that I become a captain so I think actually those things motivated me so I actually want to say thanks to the people who said that.
“I also want to thank my family and all the players’ families. They have been on the road with us. It’s been a great journey, a very special journey.”
He added: “It’s been a great experience playing for this beautiful franchise and for these beautiful people who always come and support us. I am just really grateful to almighty.”
Tahir grabbed two wickets in the final to take his tally for the tournament to 18, just behind the leading wicket-taker – fellow South African Dwaine Pretorious, who spearheaded the Amazon Warriors attack.
Warriors also boasted the tournament’s two leading run-scorers, West Indies one-day captain Shai Hope accumulated 481 runs at an average of 53 and 21-year-old Pakistani left-hander Saim Ayub amassed 478 at an average of 43, who in a 84-run, unbroken second-wicket partnership guided Amazon Warriors to victory in the final.
“Since we started from St. Lucia, we had the belief. We always get into the semis and finals and then [not won the title],” Tahir said.“We just worked very hard. Results were never going to be in our hands but we knew from the day we arrived we were gelling really well, even though we never found an opener. This is the beautiful thing about our team culture. “I’m just really grateful to every single player, they gave their hearts out, especially in the last two games. We played like we never played before. They made my job easier.”
“If I told you this is one of the greatest achievements I have then obviously this is a very, very special moment,” he said.
“And playing in CPL for the last six years, I want to thank CPL and the way they organized this league — it has been beautiful, it has been unbelievable. Very good competition.”