Gibson looks ahead to the return to Sri Lanka & World Cup
Colombo, Sri Lanka– West Indies Head Coach Ottis Gibson has started to put the systems in place for the team’s participation in next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup. Following the rescheduling of the One Day Series against Sri Lanka, Gibson said this presents an opportunity to look towards the “grand event” which will commence in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India in February.
The Windies will return home in the coming days. They will return to Sri Lanka in late January for the ODI Series, which is part of the ICC’s Future Tours Programme. After that they will remain in Sri Lanka for two official warm-up matches and from there go straight into the Cricket World Cup.
Speaking on Friday, Gibson outlined the programme: “That series will now represent an integral part of our preparation and build-up to the World Cup. We will be back here to play some international games before the World Cup and then we will have two World Cup warm-up games so that will be a key period,” the former West Indies allrounder said.
“The intention will be to get the team together soon after we complete the Caribbean T20 and get everything in place for the return to Sri Lanka. We will look to plan well. The attention we paid to detail in the Test Series shows that once we plan well we can deliver at this level.”
Gibson added: “Every cricketer wants to play in the World Cup and everyone is eagerly looking forward to the tournament. The West Indies won the World Cup twice, and reached the final on the third occasion, so hopefully we can come and put on a good showing for our fans and our supporters.”
“Some people will say, based on where we are in the rankings at the moment that they don’t give us a chance, but we know if we are well planned, well organised and committed, like we showed in the Tests here in Sri Lanka, we have a chance,” Gibson explained.
“We have match-winners in our team who are capable on any given day of producing match-winning performances. It will be very important that we come back here and give ourselves the best chance of winning the tournament.”
Looking back at the three-match Test Series, Gibson said he was pleased with the level of focus and commitment from the players. The series was affected by rain and ended 0-0. Chris Gayle made a monumental 333 in the opening match at Galle, Kemar Roach took 10 wickets – including 5 for 100 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, and Darren Bravo made three half-centuries in four innings in his first Test Series.
“One of the key things was the fact that, amongst the rain and everything else, we had some outstanding performances in the Test Series. We had Darren Bravo making his Test debut against a strong Sri Lanka team, ranked Number 3 in the world, and he made three high-class half-centuries,” Gibson said.
“In the last Test we saw his quality as he came in to face the second ball of the match and played a very mature innings. Kemar Roach was the outstanding bowler of the series on both sides, and won the Man-of-the-Series award; and we had a magnificent innings by Chris Gayle to set up the 1st Test match – a match we controlled.”