BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Hendy Springer hailed the character of his side after Barbados clinched their 21st regional first-class title on Saturday here.
The Barbados coach was speaking after Javon Searles ushered the home team to an innings and 22-run victory over Trinidad & Tobago in the Grand Final of the Regional 4-Day Tournament.
Searles collected 3-31 from 12.4 overs and Miguel Cummins, later named Man-of-the-Match, ended with 4-75 from 14 overs, as T&T were bowled out for 237 in their second innings about half-hour after lunch.
Lendl Simmons converted his overnight 111 into a top score of 140 and Stephen Katwaroo made 34, but the lower order was devoid of fight, as T&T lost their last six wickets for 97, handing the title to old foes Barbados.
“It feels great after you have completed a season to win a trophy, after the kind of start we had to the season, and still look around and see some of the young players improve, which is the definition of success for me,” said Springer, who has held the position for more than a decade.
“We had guys that were willing or fight, willing to prove their worth and that was important. Players have come with higher skill levels than the ones we had this season, but the fight that they showed day in, day out was what made the difference.
Springer said the performance of the players augured well for the game in the island, knowing that they fought against the odds to win the title.
“This team is different to others that I have coached over the years since it does not include a number of players that have represented West Indies at the higher levels,” he said.
“When I first started coaching Barbados back in December 2000, we had players like Roland Holder, Philo Wallace, Sherwin Campbell, Hendy Bryan, Adrian Griffith, Floyd Reifer to name a few – a number of players that had represented West Indies and it was much different then.”
“This season, we only had one or two players consistently, so we had more first-class players than West Indies players, and it was good to see those players come to the fore as well.”
T&T captain Denesh Ramdin said his side’s batting again was a letdown and his side will have to do plenty of soul-searching for future competitions.
“It was an up and down season and we had to keep chopping and changing players, some going and some coming, and we never not get that balance right in our batting department,” said the West Indies wicketkeeper.
“We were always struggling to put 200 runs on the board and our bowlers have done it throughout the season for us.”
He said: “This is one of the few times we have gotten over 220 runs for the season. It is something we have to think about and we have to go back to the drawing board.”
“The top five or six batters need to come to the party. They didn’t come consistently as we wanted them to in this tournament. Well played to Lendl Simmons for getting a hundred this game, but having to come from 260 behind was a hard task to overcome.”
Ramdin urged the batsmen on his side to work hard on playing longer innings at the regional first-class level and hoped the young players had learnt from the experience.
“I believe it is a mindset that the players have to change,” he said. “We have to learn to stand up and bat longer. Players are sometimes playing too many shots and not batting as long as they should.
“To get hundreds, you need to bat at least 2 ½ sessions and we find guys are trying to get the runs all in one session.”
He said: “It was a tough season to swallow and we had our ups and downs. We came to Barbados and played on a helpful pitch and we had some young players in our team.
“Hopefully, they can all learn from this experience and learn as fast as possible because I don’t want to call it a learning experience, and next year will be right around the corner and we will need to bounce back strongly.”