Caribbean ready for big Twenty20 party
Expectations are high in these Caribbean islands and the 1.3 million population of Trinidad and Tobago are praying as they prepare to toast their cricket team's victory in Champions League T20 final against New South Wales in Hyderabad.
Chutney singing and calypso music will echo out of the bars, homes and other public places as the people of Trinidad and Tobago are confident that Darren Ganga's boys will lift the trophy and bring it to Port-of-Spain. Since the series began there has been overwhelming support for the Calypso boys.
Jack Warner, vice-president of FIFA and MP, told a Diwali celebrations earlier this week that he planned a motorcade in the Borough of Chaguanas whatever the outcome of Friday's match.
"When the team returns, they would be given the Keys to the Borough of Chaguanas", he told thousands of people at the celebration. He also berated state-owned Petrotrin for refusing to give Captain Darren Ganga time off to lead the team to India, but reluctantly gave him the off, but without pay.
Leader of the Congress of the People, Winston Dookeran, in a letter to Ganga, pointed out that the team's performance "had caused a stir in T&T and across the Caribbean." Dookeran continued: "You have totally upset the apple cart in the process which is testament to your team's unity, hard work and no doubt, your astute leadership."
Prime Minister Patrick Manning also sent similar congratulatory note, despite the fact that his government is bring criticised for failing to provide financial support to the team, and it was only through the intervention of India's poultry producer Venkys that the trip was made possible.
Councillor Boya Sahadeo of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation(CTTRC), a senior member of the Coaching Technical Team of Debideen Manick, said that, "hard work, discipline and fortitude have paid off in the team's victory." The five under their watch were Dinesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Lendel Simmons, William Perkins and Navin Stewart.
Boya said that the CTTRC will host a special ceremony at the Couva headquarters to welcome the team on arrival.
Omar Khan, manager of the West Indies cricket team, said that the team had really displayed, "an exceptional performance in this tournament."
Like India, cricket continues to be one of the major sporting activities in Trinidad and Tobago. Out of the population of 1.3 million, some 44 per cent of the population is of Indian origin.