The Barbados Pride celebrated in grand style at the Diego Martin Complex as they captured the West Indies Championship title on Saturday evening. The Bajans topped the six-team table at the end of the fifth and final round of four-day first-class matches and skipper Kraigg Brathwaite had the honor of receiving the prestigious Headley/Weekes trophy. The presentation was made by Enoch Lewis, Director of Cricket West Indies, as a beaming Brathwaite and his teammates celebrated their triumph in grand style.
Coming into the final day’s play of their match against Windward Islands Volcanoes, the Bajans led the Leewards Islands Hurricanes on points. They started the day 109-1 and batted out the final day with Brathwaite scoring 109 off 219 balls with 14 boundaries which ensured there were no hiccups. He ended the season as the leading runscorer in the tournament and shared a 95-run partnership with Roston Chase, who made 59 as the champs closed on 285-6.
Brathwaite praised his team for their performances throughout the season.
“It’s a great feeling, we’ve worked hard as a group and winning it back-to-back is great. I just wanted to lead from the front … I’m proud of the young guys, they have a lot of talent (Ramon Simmonds and Akeem Jordan) and it’s for them to keep putting in the work and the future is very bright.”
Pride Head Coach, Vasbert Drakes also paid tribute to staff and players.
“I am really happy for the group we had this year; the coaching staff did a fantastic job in getting the players to play at this level. I’m really excited for Kraigg Brathwaite, he led from the front, and I am happy to have him as captain and leading the team. It’s nice to see we made some bold decisions and they paid off, one of them is letting Raymon Reifer bat at Number 3. I am happy.”
In the hour after the lunch break, the match between the Leeward Islands Hurricanes and the Jamaica Scorpions, the day’s play was abandoned due to rainfall at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, which resulted in a draw, thereby crowning Barbados Pride as champions.
In the other match, Trinidad and Tobago Red Force and Guyana Harpy Eagles played to a draw at the Queen’s Park Oval.