In the past few years, the West Indies players have grappled with a series of issues. There has been non-stop haggling with the Board over payments. Still, the players have kept smiling.
Despite the problems, West Indies have performed well, be it the men or women in the World Twenty20. Both are in the semifinals. And West Indies won the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
Till very late, there was a likelihood of West Indies fielding a second string side for the World T20 due to the dispute with the Board.
For the players, the World T20 provides an ideal platform to prove their worth.
“If certain things don’t change, I can’t see us in the set up,” West Indies captain Darren Sammy said on Wednesday. “The issues ahead of the tournament have been difficult. The lack of respect for our team, it has brought us closer as a group,” he said.
“We have a number of guys in their 30s. We came into this tournament not having played a single T20 this year. We saw a lot was against us. It’s us against the world. Just 15 guys and the support staff, just this circle against the world. This win means more to us than anyone.”
The 2012 champions have been in good form. They beat England, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The women recorded wins over India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
“Looking at the calendar, there are no T20s scheduled, so it might be a while before we play. We really put in our all into this tournament. It is six steps to the Cup. We have taken four. The next step is against India. We are just looking forward to the challenge,” Sammy said.
“Both the men’s and women’s teams are in the semifinals. Both took the under-19 success as inspiration. Hopefully this is the year we take home everything.”