Sammy: We can rule world
Captain Darren Sammy believes his star-studded West Indies have an excellent chance of winning the World Twenty20 starting later this month but says the label of favourites means nothing unless they can back it up with strong performances.
Several pundits have named West Indies among the pre-tournament favourites for the championship that runs from September 18 to October 7 in Sri Lanka.
“We have a few of the most experienced guys in T20 cricket in our squad and the squad looks very good,” Sammy said Saturday at the start of the West Indies camp at the High Performance Centre.
“Once we go out there and play to our full potential, the way we know we can play, we stand a very good chance.”
West Indies will be bolstered by a battery of Indian Premier League stars, including Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard.
Opener Gayle was the leading batsman in the IPL last season for Royal Challengers Bangalore, hammering 733 runs an average of 61 with one hundred and seven half-centuries.
Narine, meanwhile, finished with 24 wickets in his first season for Chennai Super Kings, earning the Man Of The Series honour as he helped fire them to their maiden title.
West Indies will also have the likes of pinch-hitter Dwayne Smith, Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo.
Sammy said that despite the quality of the side, the Windies needed to remain focussed and play consistently.
“Once we go out there and play like we’ve been playing in the last series, we could win,” he said.
“We’re going to be focussed because people saying that [you] are favourites doesn’t guarantee you a place in the final.
“You’ve got to go out there and play and we as a team we’ve got to be cognisant of that and make sure we stay focussed and take it game by game.”
West Indies launched their week-long camp on Saturday, hoping to prime their preparation after a break following the successful New Zealand series.
The players will undergo rigorous training and are also expected to face the HPC and the Combined Campuses and Colleges in two practice matches.
West Indies have been installed in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland. (CMC)