Sammy: Belief is vital!

Delhi, India, CMC – Darren Sammy believes West Indies can bounce back from recent bad form and do well in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup in the sub-continent.

The West Indies captain was speaking ahead of his side’s opening Group B match against South Africa on Thursday at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium. First ball is 2.30 pm (5 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4 am Jamaica Time).

“We have to believe in our ability. We are here to compete like any other team. We have one objective in mind, and at the end of the day, once we go out onto the field and execute, anything is possible.”

West Indies have endured a lean period in One-Day International since the last World Cup. This has led to the team being ranked at Number 9 in the ICC ODI Team Rankings. Sammy feels this should motivate the players to lift their performances during the World Cup, which help them to move in a different direction on the list.

“We are well all very aware of it,” he said. “... but we start this tournament with every team on zero points, and we know the World Cup is the most prestigious event in cricket. We are very aware of what is at stake for us in this tournament – our pride, our fans, our own personal careers – so I know the guys will put their best foot forward to turn the ranking around in the World Cup.”

He added: “We know we are much better than where the rankings have placed us, and we will do all in our power to improve on this. We are fully aware that we have not play at our best for a long time, but the World Cup is a good place to start in transforming our fortunes.”

West Indies plans for the tournament hit a snag, when wicketkeeper/batsman Carlton Baugh and opening batsman Adrian Barath were forced to return home with hamstring injuries. Middle-order Kirk Edwards and wicket-keeper Devon Thomas were called up and arrived in Delhi on Monday. Thomas is expected to slot into the team for the opening encounter.

"Losing Carlton and Adrian is a bit of a blow to us,” Sammy said. “We had put together a squad for the World Cup, and it is unfortunate that we have lost those two players. Adrian scored a maiden ODI hundred against Sri Lanka just a few weeks ago, and Carlton has been performing well in front and behind the stumps.”

He added: “We have to move on from this. Kirk has been batting well, and we know how exciting a prospect Devon can be, so its another opportunity for two young players to come through and make a difference in West Indies cricket.”

After the South Africa match the Windies face the Netherlands (February 28, Delhi), Bangladesh (March 4, Dhaka), Ireland (March 11, Mohali), England (March 17, Chennai), and India (March 20, Chennai).

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