Windies on way back, says Sir Viv
LONDON, England (CMC) — Cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards says he believes West Indies cricket can return to its glory days under the leadership of Darren Sammy.
Richards believes cricketing confidence in the region has received a timely boost following Windies monumental Twenty/20 world cup win in Sri Lanka.
"West Indies cricket is on the road back — winning should create the confidence that you need in other formats of the game," Richard told the Sun in the United Kingdom.
"We can walk tall again. Winning a tournament of that nature will ignite the spirit again — and winning in cricket is what it is all about."
Meantime, the former West Indies captain has praised the roles played by opener Chris Gayle and top-order batsman Marlon Samuel in restoring the fortunes of the Caribbean side.
Samuels has been singled out for an incredible year with the bat which culminated with a blistering 78 off 56 balls against Sri Lanka that helped secure a first piece of silverware since the 2004 Champions Trophy.
"Over the years he looked isolated in the team. So I told him 'this is your last chance' — and he responded in such a magnificent fashion" said Richards who towered over international cricket from his debut in 1974 to his final Test at the Oval in 1991.
"He made a commitment. He said to me, 'I ain't gonna let us down', and I looked in his eyes and believed him. I could see the change within him. So hats off to the man, he's delivered."
Richards, a member of the world-beating Windies team that won two ICC World Cups, has commended Gayle for restoring confidence in the side on the strength of his monstrous run-scoring ability.
"Chris has given himself a platform to operate from and has returned to the West Indies side as a leader," said Richards.
"The guys in the team have an enormous amount of respect for him and to have a guy who is that destructive makes the players feel more comfortable as they have a better chance of winning."