Windies wary of favourites tag

2012-09-12 09:21

Colombo - It is not often in recent years that the West Indies have been billed as favourites to win a major cricket title, but skipper Darren Sammy is cautious of the tag ahead of the World Twenty20.

"The favourite tag line does not guarantee us a place in the final," Sammy said ahead of the fourth edition of the tournament, which starts in Sri Lanka next Tuesday.

"You have to go out there and play good cricket. We may have the best side on paper, but we have to pull all the resources together and win."

The West Indies have struggled to match their overwhelming success of the 1970s and 1980s when their fast bowlers and aggressive batsmen dominated world cricket.

With young men in the Caribbean turning to American sports like basketball and baseball, it's been hard to find replacements for the likes of Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd and Vivian Richards.

But Sammy's men go into the World Twenty20 as the team to beat, looking for their first major title since 2004 when they won the Champions Trophy in England.

The presence of explosive batsmen suited to the slam-bang T20 format like Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard, combined with the guile of prolific spinner Sunil Narine, delighted the skipper.

"We have the best spinner right now in T20 cricket in our side and he's been doing really well for us," Sammy told reporters in Colombo on Tuesday night.

"The pitches in Sri Lanka will help him and I see him playing a very big role.

"Chris brings a lot of experience in batting, and we have Pollard, Darren Bravo and others who have done so well in the IPL (Indian Premier League).

"Everyone is aware that this is a wonderful opportunity for us to put a huge smile on our fans' faces. Everyone is keen to do well."

The West Indies are drawn with Australia and Ireland in group B of the preliminary league, with two teams advancing to the Super Eights round.

They play their first game against Australia in Colombo on September 22.


  • lood800 - 2012-09-12 11:09

    Exactly who decided this?

      heiku.staude - 2012-09-12 11:25

      Nick Mallet.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-09-12 13:08

      Guys they can beat anybody.. I'm telling you!!

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-09-12 15:50

      The Windies have an excellent team. I'm not sure about Sunil Narine being the "best spinner right now in T20 cricket", I suspect Saeed Ajmal might have a thing or two to say about that. But no doubt they are a top team with several proven match-winning talents. The problem is that everybody else is too. NZ are the country with the fewest IPL stars. Their five IPL stalwarts (Jesse Ryder, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, James Franklin, Dan Vettori) all had average or below-par IPL seasons in 2012. That didn't stop them knocking off India's IPL-star-studded lineup yesterday. England have almost no IPL presence at all yet they're the defending champions. So I don't think anybody is favourite. Any team can win. It will just depend (as it always does in limited overs knockout cricket) on who brings it on the day.

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-09-12 16:31

      The bookies - it is called sport gambling.

  • ebrahim.floris.7 - 2012-09-12 15:29

    These guys have phenomenal T20 talent...favorites? I tend to agree! But then again I don't mind South Africa being low-key again.

      boom.afridi.56 - 2012-09-12 16:23

      Not enough dangerous spinners. Only Johan Botha. And you're playing against top sub continent sides Sri Lanka, Pak, India they play spin like champions. Seam won't be enough. Only AB and Albie are your top batters.

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