COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – West Indies captain Darren Sammy exuded confidence on Friday as his team put in their final preparations ahead of their opening match in the ICC World T20 tournament. The Windies had a full morning session at the R Premadsa Stadium, venue for the much-anticipated Group B match against Australia. First ball is 7:30 pm (10 am Eastern Caribbean Time/9 am Jamaica Time).
“This is the start. All the preparation that we have done, all the plans that we have made, all the hard work that we have put in we will put it on display tomorrow. We are confident, we believe in ourselves and we aim to come out with confidence as we look to win and move on.
“To us every game in the tournament is an important game. We had our last practice session and everybody is ready. The most important thing is that everybody in the team has the belief that we can go all the way. All our attention and focus is geared towards this game. It is the only thing that we are talking about. After this game is finished we will then focus on the other game to come,” Sammy said.
“We cannot ever count out Australia, they are always hungry for success. We had a good series in the Caribbean against them earlier this year, but this is new turf and I think it will be an exciting match tomorrow.”
Sammy believes his team’s approach to the tournament build-up has been spot on. The squad had a training camp at the Sagicor High Performance Centre in Barbados before they arrived in Sri Lanka ten days ago and since then they have intensified their preparations and worked on skills specific to the shortest format of the game.
The skipper reported that “everyone is fit, focussed and available for selection” and that bowling could be keep on the track at Premadasa. He also noted that the conditions look good for T20 cricket after they had a full fielding session on the vast outfield.
“Whatever conditions we get, our bowlers will have to adapt quickly to them. We’ve been here for the last 10 days and we have adapted well. We’ve watched the games played here (Premadassa) and the pitch looks a good one, so hopefully our bowlers can come out and execute at the crucial times of the game and we'll come out and be victorious,” Sammy said.
A lot of focus has been on West Indies opener Chris Gayle, who is one of the world’s leading batsmen in all formats of the game; and spinner Sunil Narine, the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year, who has impressed in his short time on the international stage. Sammy said it is a delight to have these two and other world-class performers in the line-up.
“It’s always a plus to have players like Chris, (Kieron) Pollard, Narine, Fidel (Edwards), (Dwayne) Bravo in your team… we have a lot of good players, but in order to win the World Cup it takes a team performance so we all have to pull our weight. These guys have played a lot of IPL and we have learnt from them, but we are going to put in a team effort when we come on the field and do a good job for the Caribbean people,” Sammy said.
“At the end of the day, cricket is being played in the middle and we have to go and execute. Everybody in the team is looking at one common aim, which is winning. It won’t take one person, it’ll take an entire team to put all the ingredients together so we can get a nice little soup to eat.
“The good thing is that the fans are rallying behind us. We feel their love and we believe we can do well. The management and staff believe that we will do well. But being favourites doesn’t guarantee you will win, you have to go out there and win every match.”