CPL Curry Clasico now Even-Steven

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By Prior Beharry

THE Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Curry Clasico is now even-steven after the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) beat the Guyana Amazon Warriors (GAW) at the National Stadium in Providence on Wednesday night.

This means that since the CPL started 11 years ago both teams each have 14 wins in the 28 matches they have played against each other in the competition.


TKR go into the finals chasing their fifth title after winning Qualifier 1 by seven wickets and silencing the majority of GAW supporters.

Jamaican Chadwick Walton standing in for the injured Martin Guptill top-scored batting through the innings with an unbeaten 80.

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It was the first victory for TKR over GAW in this year’s tournament having lost the last two encounters in the group stage at the Queen’s Park Oval on September 5 and at Providence on Saturday.

Trinbago Knight Riders 167/3 (Walton 80*, Pooran 33; Pretorius 2/36, Tahir 1/30) beat Guyana Amazon Warriors 166/7 (Ayub 49, Khan 36; Salamkheil 2/28, Hinds 2/32) by 7 wickets

TKR had won the toss and put GAW into bat. And the franchise on the South American continent got to 166 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs.

Saim Ayub made 49 and Azam Khan with 36 were the backbone of the innings.


TKR were better in the field than the last two encounters and in their turn at the crease Nicholas Pooran made 33 and Kieron Pollard was bowled by Dwaine Pretorius for 23. Both men shared in 50-run partnerships with Walton whose last 50 in the CPL was in 2019.

The victory puts TKR into Sunday’s final to play the winner of Friday’s Qualifier between GAW and the Jamaica Tallawahs. GAW have appeared in five finals and are trophyless.

The matches between TKR and GAW over the years have burgeoned into the biggest rivalry in the tournament.

Shimron Hetmyer of the Guyana Amazon Warriors

Depending on who is the winner it is either chicken curry (Guyana) or curry chicken (T&T) – the bragging rights for the fans.

T&T and Guyana share many similarities both historically and politically.

Both have African and Indian descendants from slavery and indentureship. Politically, in both countries, the two main political parties are also split down the middle along racial lines. That divide, however, is not seen in sports.

T&T for quite some time due to crude oil and then natural gas have been the richest country in the English-speaking Caribbean. But Guyana with its recent discoveries are now set to become the richest country on Earth with a population of just 800,000. T&T’s ageing oil and gas industry has seen production decrease in recent times.

One post on social media showed a woman with a sign saying that the rivalry was no longer chicken curry versus curry chicken but oil versus non-oil.

A video showed TKR captain Kieron Pollard being booed by fans at the game on Saturday. However, the video also showed he turned to the jeering fans and in the style of an orchestra conductor, gestured to them.

TKR supporters

A Facebook post over the weekend showed a fight at a Richmond Hill, New York, bar between GAW and TKR supporters who are members of their countries’ diaspora.

In another, a GAW fan put up “for sale” sign for Dwayne Bravo’s bat saying it has been hardly used for the season alluding to the fact that Bravo has not been on the TKR starting 11 for quite some time. But a person posted a comment that he wanted a GAW CPL trophy emphasising the fact that the Guyanese franchise has never won a championship although making five finals.

Reports of skirmishes between fans from both teams outside the Providence stadium after the game on Wednesday night bring a different realm to the sport.

TKR skipper Kieron Pollard dances during a CPL match at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy

In an interview with AZP News, Chief Executive Officer of the CPL, Pete Russell said that the tournament burgeoned out of the idea of merging Carnival and cricket together, two major passions in the West Indies.

Fans are now comparing the TKR/GAW rivalry to the El Clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Superclásico between Boca Juniors and River Plate or the English Premier League clash between Manchester United and Liverpool.

One thing is for certain, these rivalries are more than 100 years and the CPL has now crossed a decade in existence.

The Imran Tahir trademark celebration

Many Guyanese before their energy discoveries had migrated to Trinidad, many illegally, and were the brunt of maltreatment and jocular comments as migrants. Venezuelans have since overtaken them in numbers.

Therefore, this piece of history has added to the social fabric of both nations and fuelled the TKR/GAW Curry Clasico albeit in a franchise tournament.

In 2018, some enthusiastic and overzealous female GAW fans stomped on the T&T flag after a TKR victory during a match at the Providence Stadium.

In the finals, when TKR beat GAW, the episode was not lost on then-captain Dwayne who said, “I just have one message for Guyana – put some respect on our national flag, red, white and black. It means a lot to us. To my team, well done. This victory is for T&T.”

Many felt that was when the Curry Claisco started.


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