Sharing the same golden jubilee independence year has only added more fuel to an already hotly contested cricket rivalry between Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
The longtime Caribbean cricket powers were hoping to send their respective Ex Pats, who are celebrating 50 years of independence, home with bragging rights on Saturday before its highly anticipated Twenty20 series matchup at Central Broward Regional Park was called because of rain.
Darren Ganga, a former team captain for Trinidad and Tobago who serves as a sports ambassador for the island nation, said battling for Caribbean supremacy has brought out the best in both teams.
“We always believe that competition is healthy,” Ganga said. “As Trinidad and Tobago competes against Jamaica, the pride of a nation is in the hands of us as cricketers. We see it as a chance to showcase the talent that we have and also as an opportunity to take our cricket out of the regional context and play at the international level.”
Saturday was supposed to be the latest chapter in a series that has swung in momentum from one format to another.
Jamaica has dominated the West Indies’ first-class and domestic 50-over competitions and beat Trinidad and Tobago for the Regional Super50 tournament title in October 2011.
Trinidad, however, exacted revenge in the CaribbeanTwenty20 final this past January, posting a 63-run victory in Barbados to defend its Twenty20 title and advance to the Champions League T20. Dwayne Bravo led the way with 49 runs while Kieron Pollard accounted for 39 runs, not out.
Even as Trinidad and Tobago starts preparation for the Champions League Twenty20 Tournament in South Africa in October, supplanting its biggest rivalry will remain at the forefront.
“Outside of all the different teams, Jamaica is our greatest opposition,” Ganga said. “They have proven themselves. They have produced some world-class players. It is always good to play against the best team in the Caribbean. Jamaica is right up there.”