44-year-old Imran Tahir created history as he guided the Guyana Amazon Warriors to their maiden Caribbean Premier League (CPL) on Sunday night.
The Guyana Amazon Warriors have lost a record five CPL finals previously. But on Sunday, in the CPL 2023 final, against Trinbago Knight Riders, which is the most successful side in the CPL history, Guyana had the fortunes on their side as they bowled out Trinbago for a low total of 94 runs.
Dwaine Pretorius took 4 wickets and bagged the Man of the Match award. Spinners Gudakesh Motie and skipper Imran Tahir took 2 wickets each. Opener Saim Ayub, who has been one of the best young performers in the tournament cracked 52 runs in 41 balls, including hitting the winning runs for Guyana.
With that, Imran Tahir became the oldest captain to lead his side to a CPL tournament title. Tahir was in a lot of tears after Guyana won their maiden CPL trophy.
There was huge scrutiny ahead of the season when Guyana announced the 44-year-old Imran Tahir as their new skipper. Not only Tahir was old to be even playing top franchise level T20 cricket, let alone captaining a side, but also wasn’t in great form either. However, he shut down all critics with his captaincy and bowling.
Tahir finished as the second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 18 strikes, only behind teammate Dwaine Pretorius, who took 20 wickets in the tournament.
R Ashwin said our team will do it: Imran Tahir
In his success this season, Tahir also revealed the role of India off-spinner R Ashwin. Tahir thanked R Ashwin, saying that the off-spinner had put confidence and motivation in him and his side.
“Everyone was sending messages and joking that I became the captain,” he said in the post-match presentation ceremony. “That actually motivated me, I want to say thanks to those people. Thanks to our analyst Prasanna. He worked almost 20 hours a day to give us plans. I also want to thank R Ashwin from India. Before the tournament, he said our team will do it,” Tahir said.
Tahir got emotional talking about his team.
“I am very happy to become the first captain to win the tournament for the Amazon Warriors,” he said. “Look I said we were more hungry than ever before. Even when we lost the first Qualfiier we kept faith in our team. The team’s belief was there.”
“The result is never guaranteed. Look I just wanna thank everyone. I wanna tell them that since I arrived it was my dream to win the competition. I am really grateful for the support (in tears). Thank you,” the South African added.