Millennium Post

Contract row behind, Sammy eyes WT20 title

Having managed to field a strong side in the last minute amid a contract row with their Board (WICB), West Indies captain Darren Sammy on Tuesday said their aim is to bring back the World Twenty20 title to restore the faith among Caribbean fans.

“As of now we are in the World Twenty20 and that’s what our focus is on. It’s just cricket. At the end we are professionals, but this event means a lot to us as a group.

The next World Twenty20 is in 2020 and a few of our guys won’t be part of that event so this one is very important for us,” Sammy said. “Everyone’s focus is on winning. A win here will mean a lot to us and people at home, especially in the current situation of our cricket. It’s not just about the men team but the women team as well. “The the message is cricket. Once you step out on the cricket field you should not be worried about contracts and other stuff. It’s about making your country proud,” the skipper of the 2012 World T20 champion side in Sri Lanka told reporters here.

Presently ranked world no 2 in Twenty20 rankings, West Indies cricket was in serious crisis involving players’ contracts in the run up to the upcoming event and a second string side was expected to be named had the row been not resolved at the last minute.

Finally 12 of 13 players -- excluding Darren Bravo -- agreed to the financial terms, a sharp drop in pay compared to previous tournaments.

“You would like everything to be smooth-sailing but that’s not the case for us so we are just going to do what we can on the field,” Sammy said.

“Ideally we want to play international cricket. But when I look in my dressing room I see the likes of (Chris) Gayle, (Andre) Russell, (Samuel) Badree, (Marlon) Samuels...all these guys are experienced players. 

“It’s one format of the game we as a team is really confident. When I see all this quality in this dressing room my job becomes very easy as a captain. Our guys play Twenty20 cricket around the world, so it’s not difficult to adjust.”

The West Indies colts have showed the way recently by winning the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh and Sammy said they would look to emulate the youngsters as cricket can serve as a glue to unify the various island nations. 
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