The Guyana Amazon Warriors have come close to winning the Hero Caribbean Premier League, but they have never got over the line, having been losing finalists in 2013, 2014 and 2016. In 2017 they finished in third place despite a poor start to the tournament. Rayad Emrit, the man that stepped into the captaincy when Martin Guptill returned home for family reasons, felt that they did well to make the play-offs.
“I thought having to win the last five games to qualify to the knockout stages, I think we came up pretty well. We didn’t get the start that we wanted, I thought if we had gotten a couple of wins where it came down close in the last over – we had a couple of games coming down to the last over that we needed 8 runs and we didn’t go through the line. I think if we had those victories it would have been a different season but all in all I thought it was a pretty decent coming down to the back end of the tournament.”
Looking forward to the 2018 season, Emrit thinks that they additions that they made to their squad at the draft mean that they can get close this year as well.
“We always there and thereabouts to win the trophy. I think the hunger is still there to be honest it’s just that we haven’t been finishing well, and coming down to the back end of the tournament where we need to finish well, that’s where we don’t.
‘It’s a bit different this year, we have Shoaib Malik who has the wealth of experience, with him coming in to the team, especially with the batting, he knows how to win games and hopefully he can do that for us. We have a decent bowling attack, Rashid Khan isn’t there but Imran Tahir is there as well as Sohail Tanvir so I think we’re covered pretty ok.”
The Amazon Warriors had three of the top five wicket-takers at the 2017 tournament, with Emrit himself finishing third on the list with 15 victims. The man with the most wickets was Tanvir who has been retained by the Guyanese team for 2018. Emrit says having Tanvir bowling at the other end makes his job easier.
"Tanvir knows how to swing the new ball, a lot of guys don’t swing the new ball in the Caribbean. On his day, when he starts swinging it he cause a lot of trouble for the opponents. He started to swing the ball later on in the tournament and that’s where we got our momentum. If he can do that from the start, definitely he’ll be a handful again.
“It’s easy when he does the job, it’s easier for the other guys at the end, even though it’s going to be a lot of pressure on us to maintain the pressure, it’s always easy having a bowler like that at the other end. He’s been brilliant and as I said, if he can do the job again for us, it’ll make the other bowlers job a lot easier.”