West Indies captain Darren Sammy says his team has the self-belief to go all the way and lift the ICC World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka, starting later this month.
Sammy said he was touched by the support from the fans and urged them to continue showing faith in the team.
“This is a huge tournament for the team and the fans as well, so we will go to Sri Lanka and give it all we’ve got,” Sammy said before the team’s departure for Sri Lanka yesterday.
“We believe we can win, but it will be hard, tough work. Once we play together and continue to get the backing of the fans, we know we can lift the title.”
The squad had been training at the High Performance Centre in Barbados for nine days. The World T20 will be the team’s first international assignment after the home series against New Zealand.
“The camp went very well and we are all in the right frame of mind,” Sammy said. “We will head off to Sri Lanka believing in ourselves and believing in each other.
“A few days ago, we played two practice matches at the Three Ws Oval here in Barbados, and it was truly amazing to see how many fans came out to watch the matches, talk to us, and encourage us. People have been talking to us on the streets and have
just been warm and friendly. I want to urge everyone to continue to rally around the West Indies.”
Ottis Gibson, the coach of the West Indies team, was also satisfied with the preparatory camp and believed that the team has the potential to win the tournament. “The players have done very well at the camp and we have a good combination, a good mix of experience and young players,” he said.
West Indies are one of the in-form teams coming into the tournament, having beaten a struggling New Zealand comprehensively in all three formats. They were boosted by the return of Chris Gayle to international cricket after a long stand-off with the West Indies Cricket Board.
Several in the squad have been the most sought- after players in various Twenty20 leagues, including Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Dwayne Bravo. “They have been stars of the Indian Premier League, and have in-depth knowledge of this format,” Gibson said. “The captain, Darren Sammy, is in great form, so too Andre Russell and Fidel Edwards, and there are others that can step up.”
The team failed to make the semi-finals in the 2010 edition, despite playing at home. They made the semis in 2009 before bowing out to Sri Lanka. In this edition, West Indies are in Group B along with Australia and Ireland. They warm up with two games against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. (Cricinfo)