Ramdin gets a taste for ICC World Twenty20 glory

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin got his hands on the ICC World Twenty20 trophy in Trinidad on Saturday – and he enjoyed the experience so much he wants another go at it when the tournament reaches a climax at Lord’s on 21 June.

And the man who is standing in for the injured Chris Gayle as the home side’s captain when the West Indies plays England in a Twenty20 International at the Queen’s Park Oval on Sunday sees plenty of reasons why his wish could come true.

Ramdin and his opposite number for this weekend’s match, Andrew Strauss, posed for photos with the silverware on Saturday morning and afterwards Ramdin said: “Holding that trophy was fantastic, magnificent.

“I hope the guys can come together and play some great cricket and if we do then I can’t see why the West Indies can’t hold that in June.

“We’ve got players like Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, some young players coming through like Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo’s back.

“We’ve got a good team going into the ICC World Twenty20.”

Success in the event for the West Indies would be in complete contrast to the team’s performance in the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007.

Back then defeats to the hosts and Bangladesh resulted in a first round exit but Ramdin said he was sure the side was moving in the right direction to avoid a repeat of that scenario in England.

“We played some good cricket in parts in the tournament in 2007 but it’s a case of putting an all-round game into play,” he reflected.

“We know we need to be more consistent and that’s what we did in the Test series against England (when the West Indies won 1-0 to regain the Wisden Trophy) so hopefully we can go out there, get everything together and go further this time,” he added.

The main obstacle to progress in 2009 will be the two sides in the West Indies’ group, Australia and Sri Lanka, both of them capable of being considered among the teams expected to be challenging for success come finals day at Lord’s on 21 June, as Ramdin acknowledged.

“They are two of the better sides,” he said.  “They have got big names and it is not going to make it easy for us but we are capable of beating any side on any particular day.

“We will set ourselves goals so it will be a case of going out there to try and achieve those goals and if we can do that then hopefully we can hold that trophy.”

In favour of Ramdin and the West Indies is the fact the players have had recent experience of playing in England at the time of year when the tournament is taking place (early to mid-June) and they will also be coming off a two-Test and three-match ODI series against the hosts in May.

“The last time we were there at that time, in 2007, it was a bit cold so I think the guys are expecting that,” he said. “A lot depends on the day, the pitches, overcast conditions and things like that but we know we have got to get there, acclimatise quickly and play hard cricket.

“Everyone says it is a batter’s game but anything can happen.  A bowler can come along and get you vital wickets, a batter can hit a couple of sixes to turn a match or even a brilliant catch can turn things in your favour.

“It’s on the day and anything can happen,” Ramdin added.