Words of wisdom from Clive Lloyd

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, CMC – West Indies captain Darren Sammy revealed Saturday that legendary former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd had written to the team pledging his support for Sunday’s World Twenty20 final against Sri Lanka.

Lloyd, now 68, is rated among the greatest West Indian cricketers of all-time and one of the best leaders in the history of the game. He was at the helm of the West Indies in the glory days of the 1970s and 80s and lifted the World Cup in 1975 and 1979.

Those victories remain the Caribbean side’s last success in a World Cup and Sammy said his support had been important to his unit.

“This morning I got an email from Mr Lloyd saying he was very proud of what the team is doing and that the Caribbean people are very happy,” Sammy told reporters.

“[He told us] just to go out and win. He also reminded me that the only time success comes before work is in the dictionary and urged us to continue in the way we have been doing.

“Many people are rooting for us this time. The words from a legend like Mr Lloyd are the biggest motivation for the guys who will go out and play in the final.”

The Caribbean side will be chasing their second ICC title in eight years after beating England in the 2004 Champions Trophy final at the Oval.

West Indies reached Sunday’s final by pummelling Australia by 74 runs in Friday’s second semi-final, with talismanic opener Chris Gayle batting through the innings for an unbeaten 75.

The knock was his third half-century of the tournament and took him past 200 runs for the tournament as the leading Windies batsman. Sammy, however, brushed aside suggestions that West Indies could only succeed if Gayle was among the runs.

“Gayle gives us a good start at the top. Once he’s going, it’s good for the team but we have the resources in the batting line-up to click if Gayle doesn’t give us that start,” Sammy said. “Tomorrow is about every single person doing what it takes to get the team over the line.”

He added: “This is the World T20 final and we are just one step away from lifting the trophy. The team is ready – every man is the dressing room is ready, the fans are ready, the world is ready.”

Sat, 10/06/2012 - 18:49