London, England – The West Indies will go face-to-face with England on Friday evening knowing that they have what it takes to beat the home side. Skipper Darren Sammy said there is great unity and harmony in the camp and his young side will be out to topple Graeme Swann’s men, when they meet in the opening contest of the two-match T20 Series.
The first match at the Kia Oval is Friday at 6.15 pm (1.15 pm Eastern Caribbean Time/12.15 Jamaica Time). The second match is Sunday at 6.30 pm (1.30 pm/12.30 pm Jamaica Time).
The Windies arrived for training on Thursday afternoon and were met with bright sunshine. It brought a smile to Sammy’s face and the smile got even broader when he spoke of the spirit in the camp, as several new players prepare to make their debuts on the international stage.
“The team might be full of young players but they can cope. We are in a no-fear environment. The guys have enjoyed the training since arriving in England and they all look like they belong here. We are missing guys who would normally be in the T20 set-up but we have a young side and these guys look very confident and eager to step out at the Oval. Just like England, we now have a young team and players eager to express themselves with bat and ball, so it’s going to be interesting.
“There is great excitement. It’s the start of a new series and that brings with it new expectations. It’s a big occasion for the all of us and a special occasion for the new players, who will be playing for the first time … so everyone in the camp is tuned in and ready for the occasion.”
Sammy added: “We will look to give everyone an opportunity to play as we build towards the ICC World T20 in Sri Lanka next year but this weekend is also geared towards winning. We don’t have a lot of T20 matches at the international level before next year’s tournament so we have to look to make the most of every opportunity we get to indentify the right players for the job, to get the combinations spot on and to create that winning environment.
“We are coming up against an England team which is playing very well at the moment, but we are up for it. We are looking for the guys who are coming in to make a contribution toward the team’s success. We want to start well and continue on Sunday. You can expect two exciting T20 games.”
Under the leadership of Sammy and Head Coach Ottis Gibson the Windies have become more competitive and the skipper said he expects that to continue in these two matches and the other overseas assignments in Asia later this year.
“Since Ottis Gibson has come on board he has instilled a new kind of attitude into the team and players have bought into it. We did a good job in our last series against India with the professionalism and the fight we showed and everyone is looking to continue from that point, as we play these two matches here, and then move on to Bangladesh and India later in the year. It’s about us performing. The public just wants us to perform at a high level and once we do that the public will support us.”
West Indies Twenty20 Squad: Darren Sammy (Captain), Christopher Barnwell, Miles Bascombe, Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Johnson Charles, Derwin Christian (Wicketkeeper), Fidel Edwards, Danza Hyatt, Garey Mathurin, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Krishmar Santokie, Dwayne Smith
Team Management: Ottis Gibson (Head Coach), Richie Richardson (Team Manager), Henderson Springer (Assistant Coach), Desmond Haynes (Batting Consultant), C.J Clark (Physiotherapist), Hector Martinez Charles (Strength and Conditioning Co-ordinator), Richard Berridge (Video and Statistical Analyst), Philip Spooner (Media Manager), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)