Victorious West Indies captain Darren Sammy on Sunday said that it was the “disrespect” from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that made his team all the more determined to win the ICC World T20 for the second time.
Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes in the last over as West Indies stunned England to lift the World Twenty20 title in Kolkata on Sunday. Marlon Samuels top-scored for West Indies with a 66-ball 85 not out.
The Windies went into the last over needing 19 to win and with expert death bowler Ben Stokes handed the ball, it looked like England would see out the win.
But Brathwaite held his nerve to fire the Windies to an unlikely four-wicket win with two balls to spare, leaving Stokes devastated on the field.
“We needed silverware in the Caribbean in 2012 and yes nobody gave us a chance back then. This one with all that happened before the tournament the disrespect from journalists and from our own cricket board that was out of order. The only way we could make a statement was by winning this tournament,” Sammy said at the post-match press conference.
“When you see those 15 men out there play now, that’s what we could talk about. It is solely dedicated to the people and fans all over the world,” said Sammy.
He spoke about how the U-19 team and the women’s team inspired them to do well.
“I would like to thank the Almighty as it would not have been possible with His blessings. It means a lot not only for us as team but for our fans all over the world. We started the tournament inspired by U-19 boys. Earlier this afternoon the women won the Cup. All those are motivation to complete a treble. This means a lot for the cricket in the region.”
“We left the Caribbean with a six-step goal for the Cup. Carlos (Brathwaite) in his debut World T20 has shown what a player he is. Marlon again in a final speaks volumes. All the guys chipped in. For me, as a leader, it was joy to captain. For me, it was about handling the egos and get the right decision. People may say I didn’t bat much but my job was to get the best out of the team,” Sammy said explaining his role.
Sammy agreed that the West Indies get a lot of flak because of the dipping performance in the Test arena but felt that this win could act as a launching pad.
“We keep getting a lot of stick because the way we play Tests. T20 and Tests are totally different. This is the fact that allows us to win. We have a young captain in Jason (Holder), who is improving all the time. Hope this win could inspire our Test cricketers.”
‘Never Say Die’ Attitude
For Sammy, it was the ‘never say die’ attitude that became key to success.
“I am always at peace with myself. There are issues. The main focus was to play to win. We had the belief. Haven’t you seen the belief and never-say-die attitude in the team. Had some tough victories. Today, it was another tough one. It was good to come out across the line.”
But there was genuine pain in his voice when he spoke about the fact that he does not know when he will next wear a West Indies shirt as there are no T20’s scheduled for the team this year.
“I don’t know when I will see the guys in the dressing room again. Don’t see any T20 schedule this year. We have a tri-series, a series against India (ODI). We are not eligible for selection.”
“We were in it to win it when we left the Caribbean. One particular journalist (Mark Nicholas) said we are players with no brain and that comment brought the team together. The way the men came out and played. Look at the side (Chris) Gayle, (Dwayne) Bravo, (Jason) Holder, (Carlos) Brathwaite, (Sulieman) Benn, any given day they could have a brilliant performance. We had 15 match-winners. That’s the hallmark. We keep winning convincingly shows we are not a one man team.”
Sammy believes that Brathwaite’s four sixes in the final over against England was proof why Delhi Daredevils paid a huge sum for the all-rounder at this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) auction.
“There was a reason why he was bought in the IPL. You saw what he is capable of doing. He is one to watch out for. The way he has played with the bat and ball is going to be a massive asset for us. He has improved every game. No (Kieron) Pollard, no Darren Bravo, No (Sunil) Narine, yet we still won the cup. Shows we are too good in this format.”
He also praised leg-spinner Samuel Badree, who is the No. 1 bowler in the ICC T20 rankings.
“It is not forgotten. That’s why he is No. 1 bowler in T20 cricket. He bowled wicket-to-wicket and set the game for us. But we kept taking wickets. In this Kolkata pitch, we are happy with that 150-plus total.”