Sammy expects Windies to raise game
BIRMINGHAM, England – Things didn’t quite go according to plan when the West Indies played their opening warm-up match.
However, Darren Sammy is confident they will put up a better showing in their second match on Tuesday against Sri Lanka.
The lion-hearted allrounder believes the Windies are genuine contenders to win the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy which features the eight top One-Day teams in the world.
The Windies lost to Australia by a four-wicket margin last Saturday at Swalec Stadium in Wales, but have remained confident they will do well against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston.
First ball is 10:30 am (5:30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4:30 am Jamaica Time).
Windies have been drawn in Group B alongside the Indians, the Pakistanis and the South Africans. West Indies had a week-long camp in Cardiff before they travelled to Birmingham.
They will open their campaign against Pakistan on Friday, June 7 at the Oval and return to the famous venue on Tuesday, June 11 to take on India.
The final preliminary match will be against the Proteas on Friday, June 14 in Cardiff.
“One-Day cricket is an area where we have not done as well as we should. When you look at the calibre of the players we have in the dressing room we should be playing better. Hopefully in this tournament we will come out and play the brand of cricket which helped us to win in Sri Lanka last year,” Sammy said.
“In order to do that we will have to do what we in the World T20, which is play with heart and play for the Caribbean people. It will require all of us playing together towards one common goal which is to win that trophy.
“All the teams are our main rivals. Whoever plays the better cricket over a longer period of time will win this tournament, so we will have to be at our best, we will have to be consistent and we will have to take it one day at a time.”
Sammy was a member of the West Indies team when they won the ICC Champions Trophy back in 2004. On that occasion they beat England by two wickets at the Oval.
Caribbean fans had to wait eight years for their team’s next international tournament triumph. Sammy was the man at the helm when the Windies beat Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium to win the ICC World T20 Championship.
“Whenever I’m in the West Indies team it’s always good time for me. We have Dwayne taking over from me and I wish him all the best. I know he will do a very good job and he knows he can count on me for full support. They could be no better person to take over from me, he brings the excitement and we are going to bring a fresh new brain into the Champions Trophy. It is exciting times for us, the last time the Champions Trophy was played in England we won so we will look to repeat.”
The ICC Champions Trophy will feature eight teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies. The tournament will be played across three venues from June 6-23.