Members of the victorious Trinidad and Tobago national cricket team, most sporting designer shades and weary looks, returned from St Lucia yesterday to a small victory reception ceremony in the VIP Lounge of the Piarco International Airport.
The Denesh Ramdin-captained T&T squad crushed Guyana by nine wickets to claim their third consecutive Caribbean T20 title at St Lucia on Sunday night before hundreds of Trinidad and Tobago supporters, who had made the journey to Beausejour Cricket Ground in Gros Islet.
The victory meant that T&T will again represent the Caribbean in the Champions League T20 in India later on in the year.
At the airport yesterday, the T&T team, minus all rounder Dwayne Bravo and power-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard, seemed a tired bunch after a night of celebration.
But skipper Ramdin thanked his team, support staff and fans for their backing throughout the tournament.
"It is a nice feeling again to be here, to be standing and telling you all how good it is to win three titles in a row. It couldn't be possible with(out) all these great players in here," Ramdin said, "It was hard work. It wasn't easy."
Ramdin said that after the tournament in South Africa, where T&T failed to advance to the second round, they were very disappointed.
"...We decided to come together as a team, work hard and have that opportunity to go to India again," the West Indies wicket-keeper said.
"Younger players like Shannon Gabriel, who didn't have the opportunity in T20 cricket for T&T (before), stepped up as an international bowler when we didn't have the likes of Ravi Rampaul. Young Evin Lewis coming in for two games and he batted like a seasoned campaigner," Ramdin said.
He congratulated the management staff and the fans for motivating and getting them into shape for their matches and the tournament.
"In the first round in T&T, the support we received from the crowd was amazing. We showed that passion, that drive and I am sure everyone who came out there got their money's worth, coming to see T&T (achieve) clinical (victories) against all those teams," he said.
The T&T skipper thanked the NGC (National Gas Company) for their financial support for this and future tournaments, and for the hundreds of supporters who travelled over to St Lucia.
Guyana beat the "Red Force", fans' sobriquet for the T&T squad, in the 2006 Stanford 20/20 finals, and the 2010 semi-finals of the tournament.
However, after playing four matches in four days, Guyana ran into a rampant, rested T&T team that has last played on Wednesday.