Presence of Sir Garry gives Windies a lift

Mohali, India – West Indies captain Darren Sammy walked into the main hall at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday and something immediately caught his attention.

There, in the room, was a larger-than-life photograph of West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers. Sammy paused, had a long look before taking his seat to speak to journalists.

“When I saw the photo of Sir Garry I had to take a closer look. He’s the greatest and a hero to all West Indians. Seeing his photo there, in the centre of the room, is a form of inspiration. Every West Indian who has ever played the game of cricket looks up to him,” Sammy said.

The task at hand for the Windies is to take on Ireland on Friday in their fourth Group A match at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. It will be a day match at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium. First ball is 9.30 am (12 midnight Eastern Caribbean Time/11 pm Jamaica Time).

Sammy said it won’t be an easy match, “no game at this level ever is”, but his players are confident “of a win as we have good momentum going”. The Windies go into the match on the back of two outstanding wins. They had a big victory over the Netherlands in Delhi and then dominated Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Looking ahead to the match, Sammy said: "The guys are geared up to face Ireland tomorrow. We have already seen an upset and might see some more as the tournament progresses. So it is important that we stick to our basics. Consistency is very important in this tournament going forward. We had two convincing wins so we will be riding on that, take the positives and put into the next game.”

“We are focusing on them (Ireland). We never took them for granted. We have a lot of respect for them as a team but at the end of the day we know what we are capable of doing as a team. We will go out there and execute our team plans. We played against them in the Jamaica Cricket Association Festival in 2010 and we had the better result. I know quite a few guys as well but obviously it's a team that is constantly improving. But we will stick to our strengths and apply pressure on them. We have seen what they are capable of doing.”

“One good thing about West Indies as a team is that we always had good camaraderie. We always stick together, so we are always like a family on tours. Last few days have been up and down but we stuck together as a team. We have been managing the side distractions quite well. We control what we can. We are here to play cricket and the higher administration is there to handle the side distractions.”

“The past decade has not been the best for us. We are aware what cricket means to the Caribbean people. But slowly we all are getting on board. We know how prestigious this tournament is and we are going to take step by step. Ups and downs are a constant reminder to us as to what we need to do in the field. So all this motivation and inspiration are making the team perform.”

“Against South Africa we knew where we went wrong. We were in a good position. We created opportunities but could not grab them. So, obviously when we play against higher rank teams and find ourselves in a position to effect a result in our favour, we need to make full use of it. We played really well since the South Africa match and got two outstanding wins against the Netherlands and Bangladesh, so we will look to do a similar thing against Ireland.”

West Indies:
Darren Sammy (captain), Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith, Sulieman Benn, Nikita Miller, Devon Thomas, Andre Russell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Shiv Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Devendra Bishoo; Head Coach: Ottis Gibson
Ireland: William Porterfield (captain), Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, Niall O'Brien, Kevin O’Brien, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Nigel Jones, John Mooney, Boyd Rankin, Paul Stirling, Albert van der Merwe, Gary Wilson, Andrew White, Ed Joyce; Head Coach: Phil Simmons
Umpires: Asoka de Silva, Shahvir Tarapore; Television umpire: Bruce Oxenford; Fourth official: Steve Davis; ICC Match referee: Roshan Mahanama

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