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Windies aim for T20 redemption under Sammy

May 30, 2024 17:46 IST
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West Indies

Photograph: Kind Courtesy Darren Sammy/Instagram

West Indies will be eager to hoist the Twenty20 World Cup for a third time when they co-host next month's tournament with the United States, and in the process bury the heartbreak of failing to even qualify for last year's 50-over World Cup.

The glory years of West Indian cricket are long gone as the team that won the first two editions of the 50-over World Cup did not even make the cut for last year's tournament in India - the first time ever that they had missed the event.

West Indies are now looking for redemption under the guidance of Daren Sammy, a coach who knows what it takes to win the global T20 trophy after he captained them to the title in 2012 and 2016.

Sammy was appointed as West Indies' limited overs coach in May last year after the resignation of Phil Simmons following their first-round exit at the 2022 T20 World Cup.

While the 40-year-old will be desperate to get West Indies back on top of the world, he hopes his bowlers can step up and make the most of home advantage.

"Bowlers have been under the pump," the former all-rounder told Reuters in a telephone interview from his T20 World Cup trophy tour in Saint Lucia. "It's not just the young bowlers, every single international bowler has been under pressure.


"Look at the IPL (Indian Premier League) right now. Teams are scoring 200 and it's not a safe total. It tells you that the batsmen are really dominating T20 cricket now.

"The difference will be some X-factor bowlers. Whether that's pace, whether that's mystery spin you'd need that in your armoury in order to defend totals or restrict opponents."

West Indies

Photograph: Kind Courtesy Windies Cricket/

They may no longer be the formidable force they once were, West Indies still have a promising generation coming up, particularly 24-year-old pace sensation Shamar Joseph.

Following Joseph's heroics in his debut test series against Australia in January, where he gave West Indies their first victory Down Under since 1997, he is poised to make his T20 international debut after being picked in their 15-member T20 World Cup squad.

West Indies have never lacked firepower in the batting department and will be able to rely on the experience of Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell and Shimron Hetmyer, among others.

"We had a very long discussion with the situation of the batting line-up," director of West Indies Cricket Desmond Haynes said when they announced the squad earlier in May.

"I want to state very clearly that our focus has always been (on) roles - roles that we want people to play. The situation of someone like Shamar Joseph, you really can't question someone like him, we saw him in Australia. He ticked the boxes for us."

West Indies will kick start their T20 World Cup campaign against Papua New Guinea in Guyana on June 2. Their Group C also includes New Zealand, Afghanistan and Uganda.

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