Confident West Indies take on Sri Lanka
WICB Media Release.
DHAKA, Bangladesh – World Champions West Indies will face Sri Lanka in the first semi-final of the ICC World T20 tournament on Thursday night at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur.
West Indies finished second behind India in their Super 10 group. They lost the opening match to the India but rebounded to beat Bangladesh by a large margin of 73 runs, defeat Australia in a thrilling contest and Pakistan by a record 84 runs.
First ball on Thursday is 7pm (9am Eastern Caribbean Time/8am Jamaica Time).
On the eve of the match, skipper Darren Sammy spoke to the media about his team’s plans for the upcoming match.
“Whenever we play tournaments, on that given day we always focus on that opposition. Cricket is not about what happened before. We defeated them in the World T20 back in 2012 and in the warm-up game here earlier but they have been playing some good cricket and they are good opposition. We have a lot of respect for them. At the same time we know what we have to do to win. We will focus on the way we have to play and look to improve on the areas that need improvement. We have been peaking at the right time and showing that team spirit and never say die attitude and have a good semi-final like we had at the last tournament,” Sammy said.
“No team has ever defended the title before. When we left the Caribbean, we had that as the motivation factor for us. In the last World Cup, the mantra was: One Team, One Goal and the mission was to win the World Cup. This year the mantra is the same: One Team, One Goal, but the mission is to retain the title. It’s something that no team has done before and we are very confident that we can do it. Once we play the brand of cricket that we played in the last three games, there is every possibility that we can. But this is cricket and with 20/20 being the shortest format it is about seizing the momentum and we have a fair idea what the Sri Lankans bring to the table.
“We know what we will come up against. This bunch of players in my dressing room, we’re very confident. Whenever things get tight we still have the belief that the players out there can do the job. We are determined. We broke down this journey into phases and it started against Ireland in the Caribbean. We have taken several steps to reach the semi-finals and we now have two more steps to take. We are now in the semi-finals and we will focus on that step ahead of us tomorrow.”
Sammy was at the helm when the Windies lived up to their favourites tag and won the ICC World T20 two years ago in Sri Lanka. In this tournament, he has led his team’s batting with two match-winning knocks against Australia and Pakistan.
The bowling has been led by experienced leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who is the third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He is now the Number 1 ranked bowling in the ICC World T20 rankings.
“We have Number 1 and 2 in our line-up with Sunil Narine and Badree, and Krishmar Santokie has done his bit for us very well. We are aware of the threat of the Sri Lankan batsmen but they must be aware of the threat we bring. They know once West Indies turn up West Indies are dangerous,” Sammy noted.
“We stress a lot on unity and togetherness. When you are batting and the guys in the dug-out believe in you and once you’re there, they know you will come through for the team, moments like this, when your team-mates rally you on. When you succeed, you see the excitement and satisfaction, that is motivation. Team spirit and unity and is the most important aspects in any set-up. Once we play with that passion the celebrations automatically come out,” Sammy added.
“For me, it’s about enjoying what I do and giving the best for the team. I have really worked hard and the last four years at the helm haven’t been a bed of roses. But I just keep on enjoying what I do for West Indies and it’s good to see the performances coming consistently and enjoying those phases. It has always been about West Indies. It has never been about Darren.”
PLAYERS – with shirt numbers
Darren Sammy (Captain) – 88
Samuel Badree – 77
Dwayne Bravo – 3
Johnson Charles – 25
Sheldon Cottrell – 19
Andre Fletcher – 72
Chris Gayle – 45
Sunil Narine – 74
Denesh Ramdin – 80
Ravi Rampaul – 14
Andre Russell – 12
Marlon Samuels – 7
Krishmar Santokie – 67
Lendl Simmons – 54
Dwayne Smith – 50
Ottis Gibson (Head Coach)
Sir Richard Richardson (Team Manager)
Stuart Williams (Assistant Coach)
Andre Coley (Assistant Coach)
Saqlain Mushtaq (Assistant Coach)
C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist)
Hector Martinez Charles (Strength & Conditioning Coordinator)
Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst)
Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)
Philip Spooner (Media Manager)
March 18: beat England by 7 wickets at at Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Futullah
March 19: beat Sri Lanka by 33 runs at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
Sunday, March 23: lost to India by 7 wickets at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
Tuesday, March 25: beat Bangladesh by 73 runs at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
Friday, March 28: beat Australia by 6 wickets at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
Tuesday, April 1: beat Pakistan by 84 runs at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
Thursday, April 3: West Indies vs Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
Friday, April 4: South Africa vs India at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
FINAL: Sunday, April 6: at Sher-e-Bangla, Mirpur
WICB Media Release.