The West Indies cricket team has been tipped to win the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 set to bowl off next month in India.
The regional squad has been given the nod by former fast bowler and current bowling consultant Sir Curtly Ambrose, who added that senior players must, however, deliver on their performances.
“Look at the team that we have, half of the team are in demand across the world for different T20 leagues. So you may find one guy here, maybe two in this league and two in another league but we have all at once so we have a great chance of winning this T20 tournament, just look at our squad,” he said.
“The senior players, Marlon Samuel, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, captain Darren Sammy and all the senior players have to lead from the front. From my experience over the years, when the senior players — the guys that we expect to really take the mantle and take the team forward — are doing well, automatically the younger players will step up to the plate,” Sir Curtly added.
West Indies selectors, this month, named a 14-man squad ahead of this year’s tournament. A row between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the players, over contracts, however, threatened the participation of their stars in the Twenty20 World Cup but had since been resolved with 12 members signing on the dotted line.
The remaining three players of the original squad, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo, have pulled out of the tournament for reasons unrelated to the pay dispute. Sir Curtly believes the issue will not affect the performance of the team in India.
“From what I have been reading in the media, the players and the board have worked their problems out and the guys have signed the contracts, so I don’t expect any problem because if they didn’t want to go then they shouldn’t sign. The main fact they have signed, I think everything should be smooth sailing going forward,” the Antiguan said.
The first round matches in the men’s event will take place in Dharamsala and Nagpur from March 8-13. The group winners will join Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and host India in the Super 10 stage, which will be played alongside the women’s event from March 15-28.
West Indies won the event in 2012. (Trinidad Guardian)