West Indies Captain Darren Sammy doesn’t see his team as favourites to win the imminent International Cricket Council’s T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.
But he has given the assurance that the West Indies players will be working their hardest on the field in the effort to bring the winners’ cup back to the Caribbean.
“We have been hearing a lot of talk about us being favourites, but we don’t really see ourselves as favourites. We see ourselves as a team prepared to work hard to win the World T20 tournament for the people of the Caribbean. We will start with this camp here in Barbados and look to build momentum. When we arrive in Sri Lanka later this month we will look to continue that work and take it into the tournament,” Sammy said.
“We are focused. People saying that you are favourites doesn’t guarantee you a place in the final… it doesn’t guarantee you the cup. You’ve got to go out there and play and we as a team we’ve got to be cognisant of that and make sure we stay focused and take it game by game. Once we go out there and play like we’ve been playing in the last series (against New Zealand), we believe we are capable of winning.”
The 28-year-old all-rounder was speaking as the regional side started their pre-tournament camp at the Sagicor High Performance Centre at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies. The players will have training sessions all week as well as warm-up matches on Thursday and Saturday.
The World T20 tournament features the 12 best teams in the world and will be played from September 18 to October 7.
The West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland and both first round matches will be at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. West Indies open against the Aussies on September 22 followed by a clash with the Irish on September 24.
Sammy said the West Indies would be banking on their experienced, world-rated players who have been dominant in the T20 format. The captain also noted that the team was determined to do better than they did in the last tournament in 2010 at home, when they failed to make the Final Four. The previous year they reached the semi-finals when the tournament was played in England.
“We have a few of the most experienced guys in T20 cricket in our squad and the squad looks very good. Once we go out there and play to our full potential, the way we know we can play, we stand a very good chance. The last time we played, we didn’t do quite as well as we wanted to this time around we aim to get it right,” Sammy said. Full Squad: Darren Sammy (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (Wicket-keeper), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith. Reserves: Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Devon Thomas (windiescricket)