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Young West Indies Inspires Sammy's Men

Sunday, February 28, 2016
T20 captain Darren Sammy says the regional squad is motivated by the West Indies Under-19s World Cup success.

SHARJAH—West Indies senior team says they will use the Under-19s side’s Youth World Cup success as the catalyst for their bid to win the Twenty20 World Cup in India starting next month.

Captain Darren Sammy said most of the squad had followed the Under-19 World Cup campaign in Bangladesh recently and were not only inspired but were now keen on emulating that success at the March 8 to April 3 tournament.

“The young boys showed a lot of character. They were tested but they came out victorious and that is something that we will need to show in the World Cup,” Sammy said here.

“We will have to show a lot of character, we need to show calm heads like the Under-19s did and all the men here were watching and following closely. Most of them on twitter or Instagram, they passed on their congratulatory messages.”

The Young Windies entered the tournament as underdogs and after a rocky group phase, produced a clinical performance in the knockout stage to win the region’s first ever Under-19 title.

In the final against India, they were aggressive, attacking from the outset to come away with a five-wicket victory. Sammy said a win for any West Indies team at any level was a victory for the entire Caribbean.

“Once West Indies win, we all win, whether it’s the women or the men’s team or the Under-19s,” Sammy pointed out.

“Once we win it’s a great feeling and we would like to emulate the Under-19 guys by going to India and repeating what they did in Bangladesh, and we’re going to mention that in our meetings that this is a goal like we had in 2012, because when the West Indies win, the region is a much happier place.”

West Indies have already been installed as one of the favourites, following on from their 2012 triumph in Sri Lanka and their semi-final berth two years ago in Bangladesh.

And Sammy argued that with the combination of knowing how to win and having some of the world’s best T20 players, West Indies would be legitimate contenders. 

“The fact that we’ve won a World Cup means we know how to get it done … this year we’re coming in with eight members from the team that won the World Cup [in 2012] so the squad is not lacking in experience,” he explained.

“The guys are seasoned T20 players so in that vein, I believe we have the right personnel and right calibre cricketers to help us perform in the conditions in India, and we just have that belief that we can do it.”

He added: “It is not going to be easy. T20s is the format where the teams are much closer together [but] we still have the confidence that once we do the basics right—with the potential match-winners we have in that dressing room— we can be a great force to be reckoned with and go all the way.”

West Indies are squaring off with Zimbabwe in an unofficial warm-up T20 here Saturday.