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Bravo urges fans to get behind West Indies

cricket Updated: May 02, 2010 23:35 IST

AFP
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Dwayne Bravo hopes the West Indies' blistering start to the World Twenty20 will inspire Caribbean cricket fans to get behind the home side.

West Indies thrashed Ireland by 70 runs here on Friday, all but assuring their qualification for the second stage Super Eights ahead of their remaining Group D match against England.

Although, with regular captain and opening batsman Chris Gayle injured, the West Indies were restricted to 138 for nine, they then dismissed associate nation Ireland for just 68 - the lowest ever total in the World Twenty20.

The 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean was criticised for pricing local fans out of the market and the team's lacklustre display did little to galvanise home support.

But Bravo, West Indies' stand-in captain, has urged supporters to get behind their side after a seven-run loss to New Zealand in a warm-up match.

"The home advantage will play an important part and once our fans get behind us it really gets us going," Bravo said.

"They (the fans) were a bit disappointed during our warm-up game, but we showed we are a much better team than we showed then.

"I know the next game against England there will be a bigger crowd still and it's always important. We can use that to our advantage," Bravo added.

Meanwhile Sammy said he was looking forward to playing in front of his home crowd in St Lucia during the Super Eight phase.

"It's important we continue playing well because whenever West Indies win it's all for the fans," Sammy said.

"When we win the fans are happy so I'm urging all the fans wherever cricket is being played to come out and support the tournament.

"Hopefully when we get down to St Lucia we will have big crowd support."

Meanwhile Ireland captain William Porterfield insisted his team could still qualify for the Super Eights.

"On Tuesday we have a massive game and we are still in this tournament regardless of what happens on Monday," he said.

"If West Indies pull off a result then it comes down to a shoot out for ourselves and England to get into the Super Eights."