Skerritt calls on West Indians to support T20 World Cup teamSunday, September 26, 2021
ST JOHN'S, Antigua – President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Ricky Skerritt, is calling on West Indies cricket fans everywhere to throw their full support behind the team when they defend the ICC T20 World Cup title next month.
With the countdown towards the start of the marquee event in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) having already begun, Skerritt is asking the fanbase and all stakeholders to help create a winning West Indian spirit of passion and unity in the face of a global battle.
The West Indies team is going in pursuit of an unprecedented third ICC T20 World title.
“The selectors have produced a fit-for-purpose squad which is a rich mixture of experienced leadership, proven match-winners, and youthful talent. For the first time in years the selectors had good options within a growing pool of exciting West Indian talent," Skerritt said.
He continued: “But this is a major world tournament, not a development tour. All the best teams in the world will be setting out to dethrone the West Indies as defending champions. And just coping with the discomfort of an ongoing COVID-19 bubble will be tough enough for the players. So the mental toughness of our team will be stiffly tested both on and off the field. That is at least one good reason why they deserve our support. If you are a West Indian fan, then this is your team no matter which territory the players hail from," he added.
According to Skerritt, “A successful World Cup journey requires that all of us; who love and support the game, and who have seriously studied the fortunes of West Indies cricket; come together and send positive vibes to Captain Pollard and the members of his squad, no matter what.”
The last time the T20 tournament was staged in 2016, West Indies spectacularly beat England at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, to capture their second title.
The first T20 World Cup victory came in 2012 when they beat Sri Lanka at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. West Indies have also reached the semi-finals on two occasions – in 2009 in England and 2014 in Bangladesh.
Head Coach Phil Simmons will be looking to make it back-to-back titles as he was the mastermind behind the title to success in 2016.
Captain Kieron Pollard will also be looking for a second world title as he was an influential member of the squad which won in 2012.
The squad is due to assemble in the UAE in early October, where they will have a training camp before finetuning the final preparations, including warm-up matches against Pakistan and India.
West Indies have been drawn in Group 1 and will play five group games against England, South Africa and Australia along with the winner of Round 1 Group A (Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia) and the runner-up from Round 1 Group B (Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and Oman).
West Indies' first group game will be against England in Dubai on October 23.