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Gibson targets T20 encore

Randy Bennett

Gibson targets T20 encore

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ICC WORLD TWENTY20 cricket competition may be six months away, but the West Indies already have their sights set on defending the title.
According to coach Ottis Gibson, the time for celebrating the 2012 triumph over Sri Lanka has ended.
Noting that West Indies have upcoming tours to India and New Zealand before the 2014 T20 World Cup starts in Bangladesh on March 16, Gibson said winning successive titles was the next step forward.
“It’s nearly a year now past our victory and I think we need now, not to forget about it, but park it a bit, because the next T20 World Cup is six months away.
“I don’t think that we can ride it out any more than we already have. We have to start thinking about the next one and defending the World Cup,” he told the media at the 3Ws Oval on Thursday.
Gibson said he thought the best players in the just ended inaugural Caribbean Premier League (IPL) T20 came from the region.
Along with the unveiling of several new and exciting players, the former West Indies fast bowler said that he was glad to see the players who carried the regional side to victory over Sri Lanka were all still playing.
“We believe that we still have the best T20 players in the world and the team that went to Sri Lanka are all still playing. If we get those guys together again with the same mentality that we had in Sri Lanka, then we believe that we can go to Bangladesh and repeat,” he added.
However, Gibson said he still was not satisfied with the team’s performance in One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
He said there needed to be more consistency if the team expected to be as successful in the 50-over format as they were in T20 cricket.
“One-day cricket is still a little bit hit or miss and that’s something that I know the selectors and the [West Indies Cricket Board] and, obviously myself, are very concerned about.
“I know that there have been changes in leadership of the team in that format, and the World Cup is in 2015, so we still have time to prepare and get the team in the right sort of shape to go and win that World Cup also.
“We believe that we have world class players that can do well in the 2015 World Cup . . . and I believe that in the next 12 months or so, we will try to narrow down the pool of players that we will choose from and try and get the 15 guys who will be going to Australia playing as much cricket as they can together,” Gibson said.