Yes, we can!
All-rounder Allen believes in West Indies' ability to retain World T20 titleThursday, September 16, 2021
BY SANJAY MYERS
All-rounder Fabian Allen thinks that, while West Indies will attract special attention as the Twenty20 (T20) World Cup holders, they have the quality within their squad to retain the title.
“As defending champions we know that we will have a target on our backs, but we are ready. From a team perspective we have a good mix of youth and experience, with [Kieron] Pollard as a great captain,” the 26-year-old player, who was last week named in the West Indies World Cup squad, told the Jamaica Observer.
The International Cricket Council T20 World Cup is to be jointly hosted by United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman from October 17 to November 14. The Caribbean side's opening match is slated against England on October 23.
West Indies, the only two-time winners of the global T20 tournament, lifted titles in 2012 and 2016, interrupted by Sri Lanka's triumph in 2014.
Since making his West Indies debut in late 2018, Allen has gradually become a valuable asset to the team in the game's shortest format.
Usually batting in the lower middle order, he has the ability to hit the ball cleanly and can effortlessly clear the boundary ropes. He also bowls steady left-arm finger spin and is a fantastic fielder.
Mulling the prospect of his first crack at the T20 showpiece, the Jamaican expressed confidence he can deliver the goods if given the chance.
“I've always known I have the ability to do great things, and I'm just grateful for the opportunity to show my skills. For me, I'm still getting better and just getting started.
“I know I'll do well once given the opportunity. I wasn't a part of the last two winning teams, so I really want to keep our streak going and make it another win,” he said.
“Personally, I just want to play my part in the team because we have a number of top players, so I won't have to put too much pressure on myself to perform,” the all-action all-rounder added.
Allen did not feature in last season's Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in Trinidad and Tobago because he missed a charter flight out of Jamaica.
But this year he was able to reunite with his St Kitts and Nevis Patriots teammates to power the franchise to its first regional T20 triumph, defeating St Lucia Kings by three wickets in yesterday's tense final.
Allen claimed 1-17 off four overs to help restrict the Kings to 159-7, and made an 18-ball 20 as the Patriots reached 160-7 off the last delivery of the match.
“It was a really tough time for me last year since we were already in the [novel coronavirus] pandemic and [in lockdown] it made it even worse. I'm happy I was surrounded by family and friends at that time. I don't know I would've made it through without them,” Allen, reflecting on last season's mishap, told the Observer.
Next up for Allen is this month's resumption of the 2021 Indian Premier League, which is being moved to the UAE following the postponement of the tournament in May due to a wild spike in novel coronavirus cases in India.
“I can't wait to be back with my Punjab Kings teammates. We were just hitting our stride as a team before the outbreak, so I look to getting back with the players and coaches,” he said.
West Indies squad – Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh.
Reserves – Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein.